Newly elected MEP Liadh Ní Riada said her priority is to triple the amount of EU funding Ireland is accessing and to use it to develop jobs in rural Ireland.
A delighted Ms Ní Riada, daughter of acclaimed composer Seán Ó Riada and a mother-of-three, said she wants to focus on indigenous job creation and on improving the rollout of broadband.
The Sinn Féin MEP also said that she would work on "equality proofing" policy from Europe, saying that "vulnerable people had been left in the ha’penny place" by right-wing parties.
After Ms Ní Riada was elected, she hot-footed it back to Ballyvourney where a party was planned. When her election was announced by the returning officer, her supporters hoisted her in the air and broke into ‘We’re on the one road’ and later ‘Mo Ghile Mear’.
Poll topper, Brian Crowley said he will battle to get a deal on Ireland’s debt when he returns to the European Parliament. Earlier in the day, he also backed party leader Micheál Martin to lead Fianna Fáil into the general election.
"The biggest thing for the next parliament is to force a deal on the banking debt, the Government says it will get it, the parliament says we shouldn’t be paying it all.
"I think we have the support of other countries on this and we can force it through by refusing to back other things," he said.
Ms Ní Riada said her election was a "terrific occasion" and she couldn’t have done it without her family and colleagues.
Meanwhile, anti-pylon candidate and new recruit to Fianna Fáil, Kieran Hartley, seems to have caught the political bug. Yesterday, the owner of The Book People proclaimed that even if he is not elected, he’d like to work with Mr Crowley in Brussels "in some capacity".
Mr Hartley benefited well from Mr Crowley’s transfers with core Fianna Fáil voters appearing to have heeded headquarters call to give him a number two if giving Mr Crowley number one.
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