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Frank McBrearty Jnr confirmed as Labour candidate

FRANK McBREARTY Jnr was yesterday confirmed as a Labour Party candidate for June’s local elections — four years after he reached a €1.5 million settlement with the State for his framing for murder in Donegal.

Mr McBrearty said his long battle with the State over his wrongful arrest has prompted him to move into the political arena and he will now stand in the Stranorlar area of Donegal.

He was one of 206 local election candidates for the Labour Party, which yesterday launched a campaign that will largely focus on the huge number of job losses.

Party leader Eamon Gilmore called for the dropping of plans for the National Assets Management Agency and said the economy is the "dominant issue on the doorstep" for canvassers.

"The anger of the electorate is palpable. At every doorstep, we are hearing people’s frustration at the way they have been betrayed by Fianna Fáil. Now is the time not just for anger, but for action," he said.

Mr Gilmore said that "Fianna Fáil have ruined this country" and that the Taoiseach has played a part in this.

He described NAMA as "An Bord Bailout" and said "this is HSE land for property".

Mr Gilmore said the banks should be taken temporarily under the control of the State with senior management replaced, "to begin to restore their reputation and get credit moving again".

The party’s latest candidate, Mr McBrearty, came to public prominence during the Morris tribunal into Garda corruption in Donegal, which found that some members of the force tried to frame him and other family members for murder in connection with the death of Richie Barron in 1996.

Other candidates include former rugby player Gerry McLoughlin in Limerick, who won 18 caps for Ireland and played for Munster in the victory over the All Blacks in 1978.

Almost 70 of the candidates are newcomers to politics and the party expects a "significant cohort of new councillors in the incoming county councils".