Sinn Fein General Election candidate for the Sligo-Leitrim constituency Chris MacManus has pulled out of the race for the next Dail.
The Sligo Sinn Fein representative says that the party is pursuing a one-candidate strategy in order to ensure that it retains its current seat held by Leitrim-based Martin Kenny.
Councillor MacManus was the final candidate to be eliminated in the last general election, having taken over seven thousand votes.
His departure from the race leaves 14 candidates vying to secure one of the four seats available in the expanded constituency.
In a statement this monring, the Councillor says he has decided to “to place the national objectives of Sinn Féin and its leadership before personal ambition” and is asking for full support for the Mr Kenny.
The statement from Councillor MacManus is below:
“After continual review, Sinn Féin at national level has indicated a one-candidate strategy is the best way to ensure that we continue to represent the people of Sligo/Leitrim in the next Dáil.
‘Having taken over seven thousand votes at the last general election, it was my full intention to contest and win a seat. However, after careful consideration, and having consulted with the party at both local and national level, I have decided to place the national objectives of Sinn Féin and its leadership before personal ambition. Therefore, I am withdrawing my candidacy and endorsing sitting TD, Martin Kenny. I urge all those who supported me previously, to support Martin.
‘The people of County Sligo can be assured that I will continue to represent them as a fulltime County Councillor and maintain a quality constituency service throughout the county.
‘It is my full intention at a future date to again run for national office. Having come so close in 2016, I believe I have the energy, passion, and experience to be an effective advocate for this region. Issues such as health, housing, and regional disadvantage are important to me, and I will always seek the best possible platform to articulate our community’s needs.
Councillor MacManus concluded:
‘However, my priority over the coming days and weeks is to ensure the return of Martin Kenny as a Dáil deputy.