Sinn Féin deny Cusack election candidacy bid

SINN FÉIN have made no formal approach to Cork hurling star Dónal Óg Cusack, following media reports linking him to a run for a Dáil seat in the next general election.

The three-time All-Ireland winner was widely praised for a speech he gave at the first An Phoblacht Autumn School in Ballyvourney in Co Cork, where he appeared alongside Sinn Féin vice-president Mary Lou McDonald.

Following his appearance at the Sinn Féin-organised event, rumours have circulated that the 33-year-old was considering running for a Dáil seat at the next general election.

A number of political parties are understood to have approached Mr Cusack informally about the possibility of running in the Cork East constituency in the next general election.

However, Sinn Féin have said that, while the Cork star was asked to speak at the event, no formal approach had been made to put his name forward as a candidate for the party.

“He is not a member of Sinn Féin so we have no idea where this has come from.

“He was invited to speak at the event like a lot of other people and was very well received, but we have not approached him to run,” said a spokesperson.

At the event in Ballyvourney, Mr Cusack, who is open about his nationalist beliefs, spoke about the importance of questioning what kind of society we should be building.

“We know now that we cannot let the prevailing political culture allow the past to be ignored. It is the key to unlocking a better future. Nor can we allow the people who have created the mess in the first place continue to dictate the escape route.

“But equally, we must all engage in a real debate about what we want – what economic system we want, what kind of health service, what kind of public schools, what kind of social welfare, what kind of public sports facilities, what kind of politicians, what kind of planning, what kind of civil servants, what kind of church. What kind of society,” he said.

Mr Cusack was unavailable for comment yesterday.


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