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Social Democrats co-leaders Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall have announced that Independent Waterford Councillor Mary Roche is joining the party.

Deputies Murphy and Shortall travelled to Waterford today to meet Cllr Roche and make the announcement.

Cllr Roche said:

“I have long admired the work of the Social Democrats and their co-leaders Catherine Murphy and Roisin Shortall. Their values very much align with my own: a commitment to pursue transformative healthcare reform; strong advocacy on behalf of those who are most vulnerable in our society; consistently facing down vested interests; and a determination to create a more equal Ireland for all.

“Some people may be surprised at my decision to join a political party, given I have been an independent politician for so long, but it is my view that I can best represent the people of Waterford as a member of the Social Democrats.

“The issues that the Social Democrats are working hard to address – in housing, the health service, childcare and the cost-of-living crisis – are also the issues that matter most to the people of Waterford. Working from within the party can, I feel, help me to deliver real change.

“I am pleased that both party leaders travelled to Waterford today for this announcement. I think that’s indicative of their commitment to incorporating Waterford, and the needs of the people here, into their policy platforms.

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy said:

“Mary has a long and proud history of representing the people of Waterford to the very best her ability. Of the many issues that Mary has fought for during the years, her tireless work in advocating for healthcare reform, University status and improved regional development for Waterford are particularly notable.

“We are delighted that Mary has decided she can do that work best from within the Social Democrats.”

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall said:

“This is further evidence that the party in Waterford, and elsewhere, is continuing to grow. Local government plays a hugely important role, in shaping and developing the areas we all live in, and it is essential to have councillors who have the right values, policies and principles in place.

“We are thrilled to welcome an extremely hardworking and experienced councillor like Mary, who has long been in the vanguard of campaigning for improved public services and development for Waterford.”

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