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Another Independent Candidate Enters the General Election Race in Clare

ANOTHER Independent candidate is set to enter the General Election race in Clare. Ennis native Trudy Leyden has declared her intention to contest the election, putting race relations at the top of her list of priorities. Ms Leyden who has been deeply involved with Fine Gael as a party activist has said that while she would have loved the chance to run for the party, she understands there no places left on the ticket this time around.

“I understand that there’s nobody ready to retire within Fine Gael, but I can’t put my life on hold while I wait for a place,” Ms Leyden said. “I’ve made it clear to Fine Gael over the years that I was ready to run, but the ticket was decided and once that happens, it’s very difficult to get a look in.”

Ms Leyden said that first-hand experience of the decline of race relations in France and the rise of the far right were a major motivator for her to study politics and to decide to stand for election herself: “I have an MA from UCC and studied the Far Right in detail. Their methods are sinister and we witnessed them here in Clare when the Direct Provision centre opened in Lisdoonvarna.”

Ms Leyden’s own experience of violence at the hands of Neo Nazi groups in France and of seeing her Algerian house mates despair at the political situation there are also big factors in her decision: “I would be fearful, after what I saw in France that the Far Right could rise in popularity here. As a candidate, my big priority is the transition to a multicultural society.”

Ms Leyden also lists legislation to prevent parental alienation of fathers in the event of separation and divorce as a major issue in her campaign, as well as action on housing and homelessness. She is also an advocate for the mandatory training in politics for all elected representatives.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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