The SDLP’s Mary Garrity says she is “the viable option” for voters in Fermanagh South Tyrone when they head to the polls next week.
In 2015 her council colleague John Coyle polled 2,732 – or a 5.4 per cent share for the SDLP, seen by Sinn Fein as having cost Michelle Gildernew her long held seat. This time around it’s the same number of candidates in the running with Ms Garrity the last to declare her intention, a move that took many by surprise.
The former Post Office manager believes it was the right decision: “Many people might wonder why I decided to run as Michelle and I would have similar views in terms of the border but you can’t escape the fact that Sinn Fein don’t go to their work by not taking their seat so that’s no good.”
The outgoing chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council says people are concerned that this election has been painted as a green and orange scenario.
“They are very disheartened that if that is the case, the outcome will be the exact same regardless of who gets in. One candidate (Tom Elliott) will be a ‘yes’ man for Theresa May and the other (Michelle Gildernew) will be a non-attendee at Westminster through abstentionism. Either way both candidates will not serve this constituency properly and whoever wins, it ultimately will not be a win for Fermanagh South Tyrone.”
The married mother-of-four says she is offering voters a refreshing change through her council profile.
“With me there is no hidden agenda because I serve everybody. There are people out there trying to say this is a two-horse race and while it may be played out like that, I am the viable option. It’s a no-brainer but whether that transfers into votes is anyone’s guess.”
Posted: 6:48 pm June 4, 2017