Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle Launch ‘For Donegal. For the People’

Pringle’s manifesto sets him apart as it is the only one to focus on the needs of people in Donegal





Independent general election candidate Thomas Pringle launched his election campaign with the publication of his manifesto ‘For Donegal. For the People’ in the Tara Hotel, Killybegs on Friday [24.1.20]. Pringle said he was ‘delighted to see so many people come to show their support for the launch of my third campaign for a Dáil seat”.


Pringle launched his manifesto at the launch which sets out the priorities and solutions that he will pursue if re-elected. Luke Ming Flannigan MEP, Thoiba Ahmed and Bernadette Hopkins also addressed the launch.


Challenging the candidates from political parties he stated, “my manifesto sets me apart from others as it is the only manifesto to focus on the needs of people in Donegal. Something that delivers for the people and for Donegal.”


He declared that,  “Donegal is a unique and beautiful place that we all love, whether we were born here or have chosen to live here. We’re a hardy bunch, a tough bunch and an independent bunch. We have to be because we are usually seen as an afterthought by the government in Dublin, no matter who’s in power. We are isolated from the rest of the republic by the partition of the border and the distance from Dublin.”


He stated “To date I have seen very little of this coming from political parties and what they will do specifically for Donegal. They fail to acknowledge that Donegal will need Donegal led and focussed solutions, different to the ones addressing national issues that dominate much of their campaign material.


“This is a failure by those parties and candidates to represent the needs of people and communities on the ground in Donegal and reveals their lack of focus on grassroots issues.


“I am proud to say that this manifesto is a project born out of my partnership with communities, community activists and organisations, many of whom are here tonight, that I’ve worked alongside during my time as a public representative.”


The 24 page manifesto, titled ‘For Donegal. For the People’ has chapters on: Health & Care in the Community; Housing & Homelessness; Town & Village Renewal; Climate Change; Education; Farming, Fishing & Island Communities; Social Welfare & Employment Rights; Social Inclusion; Childcare; and Taxation.


Local election candidate for Letterkenny, Thoiba Ahmed, who received 653 votes thanked Deputy Pringle for his support stating she stood “as an independent African Arab Muslim woman and you can imagine the difficulties and the challenges for me at that time. And during that tough time I received great support from Thomas and together we reached out to new communities to stand up for everyone, especially the marginalised and the minority.”


Bernadette Hopkins, Milford based artist and activist, and niece of the late Niel T Blaney spoke about Deputy Pringle’s support for women saying, “Thomas believes a childcare policy should be put in place to relieve the financial burden on families and lone parents. He has also raised the issue that pay for those working in the childcare sector, who are mainly women, is unacceptably low. Thomas last year spoke out about domestic violence in the county, and the closure of Lifeline in Inishowen.”


She went on to say, “On Climate Change Thomas has said Fine Gael continues to maintain a close relationship with the oil and gas companies and the fossil fuel industry. We urgently need to prioritise climate action now and stop putting the responsibility on to individuals. We need decent public transport put in place for Donegal to reduce emissions. Telling us all to get electric cars that we can’t afford is not the answer!”


Midlands North-West MEP, Luke Ming Flanagan, declared that, “if I lived in Donegal I’d vote for Thomas. I can’t vote for Thomas so I’m coming up to Donegal to canvass for Thomas because Thomas to me is pretty much your ideal TD”.


Referring to Deputy Pringles role in Dáil Eireann he said, “The job of a TD is also to be a national politician. And all you’ve got to do is look at Thomas’s work in Dáil Eireann, and he actually proves that it makes sense to be an independent in Dáil Eireann. You don’t necessarily have to go into a government that are ideologically opposed to you to have an impact.”


He referred to the water charges campaign saying, “before it became popular, Thomas was there. Before other parties went, ‘Hmmm, what way is the wind blowing on this?’. Thomas didn’t wait to see what way the wind was blowing. Thomas got up in the morning and said, ‘This is what I believe in, this is what I’m going to do. If I get votes it will be a side effect rather than doing it purely to get votes’”.


Referring to Pringle’s record of challenging and holding the government to account on a range of issues he stated, “I don’t know anyone else who will do that in Dáil Eireann except Thomas Pringle, so if he’s not there, he won’t be able to do it. So let’s make sure that he’s there, whether it be local or whether it be national, this is your man. Number One Thomas Pringle.”


The manifesto ‘For Donegal. For the People’ is available to download on his website,






Manifesto – For Donegal. For the People.


Bernadette Hopkins is a visual, performance and social practice artist and activist living in Milford.  She currently curates and chairs Radical ReThink Conversations in Contemporary Art Practice at the Regional Cultural Centre. She is the niece of Neil T Blaney TD, MEP


Thoiba Ahmed is a community worker and a member of the Donegal Intercultural Platform Steering Group. Originally from the Republic of Sudan, Thoiba ran as an independent candidate in the 2019 local election for the Letterkenny Municipal District. She is director of the Letterkenny Islamic Association.