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Jim Higgins and Mairead McGuinness. Laura Hutton/Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland
Election 2014

These are Fine Gael's two European election candidates for Midlands-North-West

Mairead McGuinness said she was confident the party could win two seats in the constituency in May.

FINE GAEL TODAY formally selected sitting MEPs Jim Higgins and Mairead McGuinness to contest the Ireland Midlands-North-West constituency for the European Parliament elections in May.

Higgins said it had been his privilege to represent the Irish people in the northwest constituency since 2004.

The new Ireland Midlands-North-West constituency takes 15 counties in total and Higgins said it will be “challenging” to balance the different concerns of each county.

Decisions made in Europe have a direct impact on the lives of ordinary people. Indeed, 60 per cent of our national legislation comes directly from Europe. This is why it is crucial for Ireland to be at the centre of European decision-making.

McGuinness, told the party’s convention today that she had every confidence that Fine Gael could win two seats in the constituency on 23 May.

“I believe that we are best equipped to give the Irish people the kind of representation that they deserve and need,” she said.

“The issues to dominate the elections will be the economy, jobs and growth. The economic crisis has forced us to reassess and analyse our relationship with Europe,” McGuinness continued. “The challenge for the future is to rebuild a Europe of solidarity between nations and among European citizens, one that will have learned the right lessons from the financial collapse.”

Tomorrow the party is expected to confirme boxer Kenny Egan as a local election candidate. Earlier today Labour announced sitting MEP Emer Costello would stand in the Dublin constituency.

Read: Here’s who Labour has picked as its Dublin candidate for the European elections>

Read: Mitchell cites technicality as he is only Irish MEP to abstain from EU anti-homophobia vote >

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