Exclusive Q&A with Ronan Mullen – MEP Candidate for Midlands/NW – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Exclusive Q&A with Ronan Mullen – MEP Candidate for Midlands/NW


We talked to Independent Senator Rónán Mullen who is running in the European Elections in the Midlands North West Constituency. Rónán said people should vote for Independent candidates who will be loyal to the people who elect them rather than their party bosses.

Why did you decide to run?

I decided to run in the European Elections because there I feel there is a real need for new strong independent voices in Europe. People are tired of party politics and politicians not keeping their promises and respecting the people that elect them. It is a sad scenario but many politicians are more loyal to their parties than the people that elect them. There is a real need for change in the political culture in Ireland and as an Independent candidate I can play a role in that. I won’t bend the knee to any party leaders I will be principled and courageous in fighting for the Midlands North West region at EU level. Often established politicians are not critical of Europe, I will make sure that the European Union works for Ireland, where it works for Ireland I will support it, where it works against Ireland for example on tax or social issues I will oppose it. As an Independent I can do this effectively because I am in nobody’s pocket, I will not be taking orders from any party bosses in Dublin. I will represent the people.

I am calling on all people to vote Independent in this election. If you want to send a clear message  that you are stick of being treated with contempt, if you have had enough of part politics in the Dáil and Brussels then vote Independent.

What are your key issues?


Tackling Financial Hardship

Irish people have been burdened by their own Government to bail out EU banks and bondholders. We’re now facing another tax bombshell to pay for this – water charges, property taxes and a proposed broadcasting charge. With the additional threat of mortgage interest rate hikes, you need a strong, independent voice to fight for your interests at home and in Brussels.

There currently is a myth about economic recovery, I can tell you after travelling throughout the 15 counties of the Midlands North West Constituency, that this idea of a recovery being touted by the Government is not true for the vast majority of people I have met. The party bosses in Dublin don’t have any concept of the huge economic pressure and stress people are under.  When people Vote on Friday they should remember that  water charges are  a Fianna Fáil policy being implemented by Labour and Fine Gael.  Yet another tax taking away from the income of small businesses and family homes to pay  the bank debt. It is scandalous that all households will be forced to pay  water charges, despite having no metres.  It also looks like all households will have to pay RTE’s broadcast tax even if they don’t have a television.

As your Independent MEP, I will:  Demand that families struggling with debt are supported, not humiliated by the courts and the Government. Challenge Government policies that put Brussels, not Ireland, first. Insist that the EU contributes to the cost of bailing out the banks.

How can we expect growth in the  Midlands North West regions when the of the 55% or 180 of the 326 state sponsored IDA visits were to Dublin with many counties such as Kildare, Leitrim, Meath, Monaghan and Offaly receiving only one visit by international investors last year, with Cavan and Laois getting just 2 visits. From 2009 to 2011 there was no IDA visits to Roscommon, Leitrim or Longford.

The huge disparity between other counties and Dublin is plain to see. For example Donegal has the lowest disposable income in the country with an average  disposable income of  €15,897 – €5,000 lower than people living in Dublin. Not dissimilar ar ethe border counties who have 11% less disposable income than the average.

This so called recovery is only happening in Dublin where the media and political elite reside.


Making the EU work for communities

Disastrous policies in Dublin and Brussels wrecked our economy and drained youth, life and activity from our country. Unemployment, emigration and depopulation must give way to investment, jobs and growth. I will work tirelessly for this.

Our Government has failed to get the best deal from Europe to assist people affected by unemployment and economic decline. Shops and small businesses have closed in towns all over the country. Forced emigration has hurt many families. We must stimulate balanced growth and recovery nationwide. I will push for greater use of key EU funds to assist where small towns and communities are affected by local job losses.

Currently so much red tape surrounds much of the funding available from the EU. Funds such as the Microfinance and Credit Youth Guarantee Scheme,  the EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund and the Broad Band Fund are available but they are currently not being accessed to their full potential.

I grew up in East Galway on a small family farm.  Current trade negotiations at an EU level threaten that. I will ensure the EU works to protect family farming which is such an integral part of the fabric of Irish Society and our Economy. I will resist pressure to liberalise trade for sensitive products such as pigmeat and beef. I will fight for a statutory code of practice for the grocery industry with a view of tackling retail dominance by superstores.


Defending Irish Values in EU laws and policy

I support the benefits of the EU for Ireland and this region. But I have always challenged the Brussels bureaucracy where it interferes too much. The European Union must work for Ireland, not the other way around. The EU must respect Irish culture and values. I will insist that the life and dignity of every human being is respected in policy and law. The contribution of carers in our society deserves recognition and support. The needs of older people, persons with disabilities and their families are a priority for me.

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