GENERAL Election hopeful Gerry Adams has denied suggestions that he is in Louth to promote a national goal, saying that local issues were just as important to him.
One criticism of the Sinn Fin leader's arrival in this constituency has been a fear he will not work as strongly on local issues as his predecessor, Arthur Morgan.
However, he insists that national and local issues are one in the same as he prepares campaigning for what should be a frantic build-up to the election.
"It's a happy coincidence that the local issues are the national issues," he said.
"There are 17,000 people unemployed in this constituency and that highlights the need to create jobs, the crisis in the health service manifested itself here, partition of the island is more greatly felt here.
"People vote for two reasons, for self interest or the big idea and at the moment they're in tandem.
"This isn't all about the economy though. People are asking are we not better than this but the silver lining is that the national debate and local needs can both be corrected, particularly if we get political transparency.
"There's never been a more important time to vote but the thing to remember is that this is something that can be fixed. Bad political choices have been made but bad political choices can be corrected."
l At the opening of Sinn Fin's new campaign office at 94A Park Street in Dundalk on Friday morning were from left: Louth County Councillor Edel Corrigan, party president and General Election hopeful Gerry Adams, Louth TD Arthur Morgan, Dundalk Town Councillor Kevin Meenan and Louth County Councillor Pearse McGeough