Sunday, 18 September 2011
Today Radio 4 broadcast an excellent documentary on the lessons that Scotland could draw from Quebec's experience of independence referendums. The main lesson being 'don't lose' as one contributor explained the No vote in the 1980 was seen as a sign of Quebec's weakness and allowed Pierre Trudeau to introduce a more strident from of federalism to Canada. It is obvious that the current UK constitutional settlement cannot continue as it is, but we must ensure that reactionary forces do not use the Scottish vote encroach on the momentum of Welsh devolution. Whilst there many important lessons to be learnt from Quebec it is important to remember that Scotland is very different to Quebec and there is every chance that Scottish people will vote to take possession of their national destiny.
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
After the disappointments of last Tuesday night and Sunday morning its nice for Welsh sport to have some good news. This evening Wrexham FC and the Wrexham Supporters Trust released a joint statement announcing the imminent sale of the club to the supporters.
"Wrexham Football Club and Wrexham Supporters Trust are pleased to announce that the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) has largely been agreed in principle, subject to clarification of a small number of points, completion of due diligence and approval by the football authorities.*
After years of turmoil, willful mismanagement and shady dealers it appears that from this Friday the club will be in the safe and capable hands of the fans. The struggle of the fans to secure the future of their club has been bewildering to follow. These are the very same fans who at the drop of hat raised £100,000 in seven hours to pay the league bond. Every group of fans claim to be the best in the world, but for the Wrexham fans this is no empty boast and they have a legitimate claim to that title. Even if you do't have any interest in sport Wrexham FC is intrinsic to the communities of North Wales and everyone who has the best interests of our comunities at heart must rejoice at this news. So congratulations to everyone who helped get the club back to the fans. It is a commendable bonus that North Wales is part of the cutting edge of sports management. As the wealthy benefactor model is so obviously unsustainable, fan ownership is becoming the ideal model for the running of professional sports teams.
Whilst its wonderful just to retain such a magnificent institution lets hope this leads on to Wrexham enjoying many more glorious occasions like that famed winter evening pictured above.
* WFC and WST Joint Statement
Tuesday, 6 September 2011
Whilst the recent election results were disappointing, there are many positives to take from the year so far. It was the grassroots of Plaid Cymru that successfully campaigned for a Yes vote in the referendum giving the Welsh people their first parliament since Glyndwr's parliament. We also have a terrific opportunity to move the national movement forward with our forthcoming leadership election. It is clear from our recent performances that we need to reform our approach in order for us to succeed in building a better Wales. Despite the negative election results I am confident that Plaid Cymru will lead Wales to take its rightful place as an equal amongst the other nations of the world. I am also confident that an independent Wales will be a better place for all of the people of Wales and will serve as an example of a happy and successful society. There have been a number of significant factors inhibiting the advance of the Welsh movement. But I believe we are now at a point in history where we can change that. The recent election results have seen us as strong as ever in the heartlands of the north and west. The impending leadership contest gives us the opportunity to remold our image and break out of our old strongholds and establish new ones.
We are automatically at two particularly difficult disadvantages. The first being that the lack of a strong indigenous media and the overbearing volume of the London based media drowns out any Welsh political dialogue. The other is the perception of our party as being a rural, middle class, Welsh speaking party. Independence for Wales can only be achieved when Plaid Cymru is regularly winning elections. This is unachievable as long we are seen as being irrelevant to the majority of voters because of the fact that they are Anglophones. As a result of the forthcoming leadership contest we have the opportunity to dispel this image of Plaid Cymru.
It is inevitable during the leadership campaign that someone will say that charisma is not the only quality we need in a new leader, and they would be right, but it is a vital quality needed in any political leader. Politics is after all, above all else a popularity contest and people are more likely to vote for someone they like. The recent success of Alex Salmond and Jack Layton’s NDP particularly in Quebec would bear this out.Most of the electorate only engage with politics a few times a year and they usually do so through the leaders of the parties. Our previous leaders have all tended to look and sound the same; this is due to the fact that all of our leaders have come from similar class, geographical and professional backgrounds. In order for us to reflect modern Wales and connect with the ordinary voters who would not have been inclined to vote for us in the past we must have a leader who is demonstrably different from previous leaders. It is vital that our next leader be above all else a strong, passionate and charismatic media performer. Like all of the other large political parties the age profile of our membership is increasing, any new leader must address the issue of recruitment immediately or we face our very own demographic time bomb. In electing such a leader we can engage more vigorously with the media and in one move change the public image of our party making it more appealing to both potential voters and potential members.
A change of leadership can only be a start to the reinvigoration of our party. We have repeatedly emphasised that we are a different type of party to the three main UK parties however we are structured like them and measure success by the standards that they have set. If we are to be a different type of party we must start acting like one. Alongside a more prominent leadership we need to reinvigorate party structures by devolving the party and building a ward based party. Internal discipline must also be strengthened to ensure that all party officers are held accountable for party performance locally and that elected members adhere to party policies and ethos.As the UK parties have embraced counter cyclical economic policies to the detriment of the working classes there is a growing space for a political alternative. As Plaid Cymru is the only socialist party capable of winning elections we must ensure that the public is aware of the alternative policies that we can provide. It has long been conventional wisdom that most people are socialists when it comes to their health and education but reactionary when it comes to taxes and crime. Given the current economic conditions we are witnessing a paradigm shift of the type not seen since the fall of Soviet state capitalism. As neo liberalism was in the ascendancy for the last twenty years we must prepare to ensure that socialism is the answer to our current and future problems.
We must clearly and passionately articulate our socialist policies. After all despite being a nationalist party we must never forget that Independence is a means to an end rather than the end itself. It is apparent that the current economic downturn will see a sustained period of economic stagnation. Welsh nationalism needs to be positioned to give voice to the people who have had their expectations dashed and their horizons limited. We must embrace and lead a vibrant and confident socialism otherwise we will be consigned to being a niche party representing a Welsh speaking middle class who are economically reliant on the past successes of the language struggle.
Since the election in May I have had plenty of time to contemplate the future of the party. I have discussed the leadership contest with fellow party members and acquaintances. After this period of due consideration I have come to the conclusion that the one person best qualified to meet the needs and challenges of the leadership of Plaid Cymru is Leanne Wood AM. It is my hope that Leanne is seriously considering running for the leadership and I urge her to enter the race. Plaid Cymru and Wales needs the leadership that only Leanne can provide. Leanne has proven herself to be a very capable media performer as well as being a passionate nationalist. The election of Leanne as leader would demonstrate that we are indeed a party for all of the people of Wales.The achievements of Plaid Cymru have been truly amazing and the the generations of patriots who labored in the national struggle in the last few decades will be remembered as Wales' greatest. In the next few months we have the opportunity to move our party forward and ensure that Plaid Cymru is seen as the party for all of Wales.
Saturday, 7 May 2011
After an exhausting campaign I would like to thank every one who helped and voted for me. Alyn and Deeside went against the national trend and the Plaid Cymru vote increased here, this is something that could not have been achieved without the help of people who are too many to name, but you know who you are so thank you.
|Assembly Election 2011: Alyn and Deeside|
|Liberal Democrats||Peter Williams||1,725||7.6||-2.3|
|Plaid Cymru||Shane Brennan||1,710||7.5||+0.9|
Sunday, 1 May 2011
1) Why should people vote for you?
A vote for me and Plaid Cymru will give you a new and passionate voice. Wales needs ambition, drive and imagination. On May the 5th we will have the Welsh election which gives the people of Wales a chance to have their say on the future of every day issues like health, education and jobs. If you want to have a progressive voice advancing the interests of Alyn and Deeside and Wales then vote Plaid Cymru. Plaid Cymru is the only party that stands for the Welsh people. The three London based parties are only interested in their tired old policies that offer more of the same. Plaid Cymru is a grassroots organisation that is solely answerable to the people of Wales. Wales has had enough of misrule from London and Labour's complacency.
Plaid Cymru offers Wales a better and more progressive future. Plaid Cymru has the boldness of vision that will allow all of the people of Wales to prosper. During the last Welsh Government Plaid Cymru protected Wales from the most savage excesses of the Tory/Lib Dem cuts and we will continue the fight to ensure that Wales gets its fair share.
Plaid Cymru is a party for all of the people of Wales. Plaid has set out ambitious ideas to create jobs, improve the health service, eradicate illiteracy and improve the infrastructure of our country.
I pledge that if elcted I will carry out my job with the passion and commitment that the people of Alyn and Deeside deserve.
For International Workers Day I wish all the workers out there the best regards on a well earned day of rest if you have one but we must always remember that the fight for workers rights is an ongoing one, we will have our victories and we will have our defeats but we will always fight for the struggle.
It is vital for the well being of all of the people to ensure solidarity. The Con/Dem cuts are an attack on all of the people of Wales. The right wing press will try to divide us by saying that these cuts are necessary to save the economy. But they will not contemplate taxing the very people who caused the problems in the economy. We must remember that the Tories and Labour encouraged the financial services industry to engage in a feverish Ponzi scheme and now their solution to the problems this has created is to attack the vulnerable in our society.
On May 5th deliver your judgement on the gangsters in the London parties, protect your services and vote Plaid twice.
*I have added videos of The Internationale, with lyrics in Castellano and the Hymn of The Spanish Republic in honour of all those who died fighting fascism and defending democracy. We must never forget those martyred for freedom from Andalucía, Aragón, Asturies, Euskadi, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castiella y Llión, Catalunya/ Catalonha, Extremadura, Galiza, La Rioja, Thank you.
Saturday, 30 April 2011
1) Turnout in Flintshire's two constituencies was low at the last Assembly
election, why should people vote this time?
election, why should people vote this time?
If voters want to influence health and education policy over the next five years in Alyn and Deeside then they must vote in this election. This is the election where the people get to have their say on the issues that affect their day to day lives. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t realise that issues like health, education and jobs, amongst others, are now controlled by the people of Wales so Assembly elections are vitally important to people’s everyday lives. There are a total of twenty areas that the Welsh people now have a say in the running of, and that is thanks to years of campaigning by Plaid Cymru. Recently there was a referendum to improve the law making process that was endorsed by the people. This was a key campaign pledge of Plaid Cymru and one that was delivered by Plaid Cymru. We have been the only party that has consistently advocated for the people of Wales because we believe in the promise and potential of all of the Welsh people. On May 5th we the people of Wales have an opportunity to influence the course of the nation for the next five years. The right to vote was extremely hard won and must never be taken for granted. It is not only in peoples interests that they vote but it must also be considered a duty.
2) What are you personally doing to tackle climate change, and what more
could be done nationally?
could be done nationally?
I recycle as much of my household waste as is possible, but I am aware that I can do more. At the TCC accountability meeting last Monday in Shotton I was lucky enough to meet Hannah Jewell one of the Welsh Government’s Climate Change Champions. Thanks to Hannah I am now aware of magnificent campaign ’11 actions for 2011’ that are some simple steps that we can all take to reduce our own impact on climate change, this campaign is detailed on walescarbonfootprint.gov.uk. Plaid Cymru has been consistent in its advocacy of greater measures to tackle climate change; we are the only party running in Flintshire that is opposed to nuclear power. We have also shown that by tackling climate change we can improve the economy and create jobs as Plaid have announced a £34 million programme for research to secure a low carbon future. Plaid will continue to support recycling targets of 80% of domestic waste by 2020 and the introduction of a higher landfill tax. We will campaign for changes in public procurement legislation, so that Local Authorities can favour materials from recycled and local sources.
3) After plans to widen the A494 from Queensferry to Ewloe and create a Flint bypass were abandoned, what would you propose to solve Flintshire's long-standing traffic problems?
The increase in road traffic can be attributable to a rash of poorly thought out development in Flintshire. Unbelievably there were plans to build 20,000 new houses in northeast Wales through the Deeside and Mersey alliance. These plans would have condemned Alyn and Deeside to being a permanent commuter belt for the cities of the northwest of England. Luckily these plans have been dropped thanks to the hard work of the Deffro'r ddraig campaign group supported by Plaid Cymru. We need to have sustainable development that includes provision to have peoples work and home being in the same community. Not only would this alleviate traffic congestion but it would improve the quality of life of most people. Plaid Cymru has a number of ambitious and innovative transport policies that will improve the lives of the people of Alyn and Deeside. Plaid Cymru will ensure that bus routes are where they are needed and not only on the profitable ones. We will also protect concessionary fares for pensioners in Wales. Plaid will also create a not for profit company to run the train service in Wales. This will ensure that our train service is run in the interests of the Welsh people and not for the benefit of shareholders.
Sunday, 17 April 2011
1) What do you think of the proposed changes to the NHS, and what effect do
you think they would have on patients if introduced?
you think they would have on patients if introduced?
The reforms proposed by Andrew Lansley are truly frightening. They are essentially the beginning of the privatisation of the NHS and there has been outrage in England at these proposals. Luckily for Wales health is a devolved issue and it is thanks to the likes of Plaid Cymru that the Welsh people are in charge of their NHS. Plaid Cymru will fight to protect the NHS. We have innovative and ambitious proposals to improve the service provided by the NHS. Plaid proposes that a national plan for cancer services be developed to ensure that people suffering from cancer receive a comprehensive and seamless care package. We would increase the availability of NHS dentists by requiring all dentists who receive training through the NHS to provide a proportion of their work under the NHS. Plaid Cymru will also continue to protect the budgets for hospitals to ensure that frontline health services are not affected even though the Tory/ Lib Dem government are cutting the Welsh budget.
2) What are your own personal views on the Flintshire Muslim Cultural Society's plans to create an Islamic culture centre in the county?
I think that the Islamic cultural centre would be a fantastic asset for the community. Flintshire Muslim Cultural Society are to be congratulated on this initiative and I wish the society the best of luck in their endeavours. Flintshire is lucky to have such a vibrant group in our community. Unfortunately there have been a small bunch of narrow minded bigots who have been vocal in their opposition to the centre. I have always found Welsh society to be an extremely welcoming and tolerant and the opponents of the centre are in no way representative of the great majority of the people of Flintshire.
3) If elected, what would you do to address the perceived bias of the Assembly towards the south?
The perceived north-south divide is just that, a perception, there is not truth in it. We have to appreciate that the bulk of our population lives in the south of the country and that it is inevitable that there will be more money spent than in the north. However it is not true to say that there is a bias that benefits the south more than the north. We have to look to the people who put an emphasis on the ‘north-south’ divide; they are invariably tribal politicians who are bitterly opposed to the Welsh people having any say in the running of their own affairs. These people see the Welsh taking responsibility for day to day issues like health, education and jobs and see it as a threat to their cosy consensus. But I promise that if elected to represent Alyn and Deeside that I will serve the people with an unrivalled passion and commitment.
Sunday, 10 April 2011
The Flintshire Chronicle will ask all of the local candidates a series of questions in the run up to the election, here are my responses to the first round.
1) If elected, what would you do to encourage more businesses to establish
themselves in Flintshire, creating jobs and boosting the regional economy?
Plaid Cymru will make Wales a great environment in which to do business. In Flintshire we have one of the most highly skilled workforces in the world but we cannot capitalise on that without having the proper infrastructure and training to continue our development and growth. I will ensure that the people of Flintshire are given the right tools and training to get on with the job of getting our economy moving in the right direction.
As part of our manifesto Plaid Cymru is committed to create 50,000 jobs. We will do this by; creating a £500 m ‘Build for Wales’ fund, to build the infrastructure we need, a £90m fund for business loans and tax reliefs to help develop our town centres and small businesses and we will support 1,000 Welsh businesses to create 30,000 new apprenticeships.
Through these ambitious and attainable proposals Plaid will ensure that the people of Alyn and Deeside will be at the cutting edge of the world economy. Our highly skilled workforce are our greatest asset and Plaid Cymru will ensure that they have the best possible infrastructure, skills and environment to make Flintshire an attractive
2) What will your party do to help young people in Flintshire get a foot on the housing ladder?
As a young person looking to get onto the housing ladder I am fully aware of the obstacles that make it difficult for young people to buy their first home. There are so many prohibitive costs involved from getting a large enough deposit together to conveyancing fees to stamp duty. The Government can really have their most direct influence by doing something about stamp duty that is why Plaid Cymru will call for a moratorium on stamp duty for first time buyers. However it is easy for the Westminster parties to forget that home ownership is not the only way to ensure that the housing needs of our young people are taken care of; the Westminster Governments for decades have been discouraging the building of new council housing. Plaid Cymru will change the way that social housing is financed so that Treasury rules on borrowing no longer stand in the way of Local Authorities that want to build and maintain new council housing. Through these two straightforward rule changes Plaid Cymru will make it easier for young people to get on the housing ladder.
3) What can be done to improve the standard of education in Flintshire and Wales?
Plaid Cymru have pledged that no child will leave primary school without being able to read or write. In doing this we would ensure that all children would benefit from secondary education. Secondary schools should not be using their resources to make children literate. Plaid Cymru policy will mean that our primary schools are able to invest in innovative techniques to ensure that by the year 2020 all children that leaving primary education will be fully literate. It is necessary that the teaching methods being used in our schools are fit for purpose we must listen to the people who are best equipped, to tell us where improvements can be made by consulting with teachers and parents we can have a root and branch review of our education system that will ensure that we are giving our children the best possible education. These are two policies that will improve our education system. But we must also provide the necessary support structures for parents. In doing so we can ensure that all children will grow up in homes where education and attainment are truly valued.
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Wales has suffered many disappointments throughout our history but one of the greatest has to be the continuous betrayal of the sham socialists known as the Labour Party. Plaid Cymru is the only socialist party that has a chance of making an impact in the forthcoming Welsh elections. Plaid has the boldness of vision and ambition for Wales that the Labour Party lacks. That is why Plaid Cymru has launched a new website that exposes the massive disappointment that the Labour party has been for Wales. If you really want to have a truly progressive and socialist Government for Wales then vote Plaid twice, for a better Wales.
Sunday, 3 April 2011
There are just over 13,000 cattle herds in Wales of which 1,700 herds are under restriction as a result of a TB incident, this costs the Welsh economy millions of pounds in compensation as well as lost labour hours. The Minister for Agriculture has introduced bold new policies to try to eradicate bovine TB in Wales. The best known and most controversial of these is the badger cull in what are termed Intensive Action Areas (IAA), this will see up to 1,000 badgers in these areas in the west of the country culled. Badgers are highly susceptible to TB infection and female badgers continue to lactate despite having the disease which inevitably lead to badgers being a major factor in the spread of the disease to cattle, Dr Christianne Glossop Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales said;
“Evidence from a number of studies, including the Randomised Badger Culling Trials (RBCT) in England, shows that culling badgers can substantially reduce TB in cattle.
“The recent judicial review of the Welsh TB Eradication Order was comprehensively dismissed by the Judge. Importantly, the judge accepted that culling of badgers can substantially reduce bovine TB in cattle.
“The judge also dismissed the complaint that the Minister for Rural Affairs should have taken into account the Jenkins 2010 et al when she made her final decision about the Intensive Action Pilot Area.
“We are taking a new approach to eradicating the disease in the IAPA, combining cattle controls and biosecurity advice alongside a proactive cull of badgers. It is not a replication of the RBCT.
“It is an approach similar to that which is being successfully implemented in New Zealand which is now close to eradicating bovine TB.
“Bovine TB is a serious animal disease and over the last ten years, the Welsh Assembly Government has spent over £100m in trying to control it, yet it has continued to escalate.
“We are dealing with a bovine TB crisis that is threatening cattle farming across Wales. It cannot be ignored and needs to be dealt with as quickly and effectively as possible."
There are of course other factors that cause incidence of bovine TB which is why the cull is part of a package of measures to be welcomed by all who are interested in the well being of Welsh agriculture. These measures include improved surveillance and cattle disease controls, linking compensation to good practice, enforcing the testing regime, and establishing a regional approach to the disease.
Thursday, 31 March 2011
The Tory Government has rashly and without proper consultation decided to deny the Welsh people a fully funded and independent media. This was a poorly organised and ill researched attack on S4C, which will potentially have disastrous consequences for the Welsh language and the productive media in Wales. This was clearly spelt out at yesterday‘s lobby organised by Cymdeithas yr Iaith in Westminster.
There were a variety of speakers representing Cymdeithas, the creative trades unions, members of Plaid Cymru and The Labour Party as well as Lord Roberts of The Liberal Democrats who gave a vigorous defence of Tory policy.
The Tory/Lib Dem Government will cut S4C’s budget by 40% in real terms over the next 4 years according to BECTU, this cut will endanger the very existence of the world’s only Welsh language channel. Wales has benefitted from a bold and vigorous independent media as well having the BBC. However the Government want to subsume S4C into the BBC. Jeremy Hunt the culture secretary has tried to make out that this will make no difference to S4C if there were an doubts about this Michael Lyons, Chairman of the BBC trustees, has stated; “The BBC Trust is the guardian of the licence fee and as a result will need to have oversight of how this money is being spent”
It was the people of Wales who established S4C and it has been a treasure for all of the people of Wales if the current UK government wish to ignore the will of the Welsh people then we must let them know that this will be remembered.
Below is the constituency address for Jeremy Hunt;
2 Royal Parade
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
It used to be that The Conservative Party was the party of the business man, the conventional thinking being the Tories were the ones to protect and encourage entrepreneurs. However even this virtue turns out to be an illusion.
After almost year in Government all the Tories have achieved is to inflict a vicious programme of ideologically inspired cuts in order to benefit their fat cat cronies in the financial capitols of the world.
Radio 4’s PM programme on Monday last week carried a survey they conducted in Manchester of small business attitudes to the current Government and it must have been depressing hearing for the Tories.
When asked how they would rate The Governments attitude towards business so far 38% said it was unhelpful and only 10.5% said it was helpful.
The respondents were also clear in their attitudes to the public spending cuts; they are too fast and too deep. 50% of the respondents said that they expected their turnover to decrease as a result of the cuts and a majority felt that there had been job losses due to the cuts.
Unlike the Tories, Plaid Cymru takes job creation and the encouragement of private enterprise seriously.
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Plaid Cymru have an exciting vision for the future of the Welsh economy. Plaid Cymru have prioritised youth employment in their manifesto for the forthcoming Welsh election. We are a forward looking party with great ambition for the people of Wales. In keeping with this Plaid has set out proposals to create 50,000 new jobs and 30,000 new apprenticeships for Wales. These bold proposals will be achieved through - a £500m infrastructure fund a £90m fund for business loans as well as tax relief to help develop our town centres and small businesses and an ambitious ‘Train2Work’ scheme, which will establish 30,000 apprenticeships each year to boost the skills and employability of young people across Wales.
The apprenticeship scheme is particularly exciting for the young people of Wales, people aged 16 – 24 made up a third of those claiming unemployment benefits in 2010. It is vital for the wellbeing of all of Welsh society that this figure be reduced. In doing so we can provide a real cutting edge to the Welsh economy that will allow the nation to prosper.
The Welsh Government, in which Plaid Cymru has been essential, has provided millions of pounds of funding to the acclaimed Airbus apprenticeship schemes. This funding has not only allowed many young people from Alyn and Deeside to gain world class employment opportunities but has also meant that Wales has been at the forefront of industrial research and development that is vital in ensuring Wales is at the forefront of the World economy.
Plaid Cymru is the only party that has the ambition for Wales to succeed in the global economy and is rightfully proud of its role in such a successful Alyn and Deeside initiative.
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Thursday, 17 March 2011
Many friends and work colleagues have asked me about a typical St Patrick’s Day in Ireland and they are often surprised when I describe it as a great sporting day. Sure there are plenty of parades and storytelling and even drinking. But for a great many Irish people this day is the day of The All-Ireland Club finals in Hurling and Gaelic Football. To put this into some perspective there are 1,000,000 members of the GAA worldwide, the governing body of Ireland’s native games, that is just over one fifth of the total population of Ireland. So it is no understatement to say that the Irish are passionate about their Gaelic games.
In Wales we have a national treasure in S4C which protects and promotes Welsh culture; recently S4C has been under attack from the Tory/Lib Dem government.
Since Setanta ceased transmission in Great Britain, television rights for the games have been owned by the little know subscription channel, Premier Sports, which shows the big championship games, but not minor championship games apart from the finals.
Is it possible that an S4C that showed a GAA highlights programme could increase viewership figures by attracting Welsh people interested in Ireland, Welsh people interested in sport and members of the Irish Diaspora.
This would have many benefits for Wales including bringing a previously untapped seam of viewers for S4C, promoting Wales to grateful Irish emigrants and promoting a unique sporting experience to the young people of Wales.
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Plaid Cymru has chosen Shane Brennan as their candidate for Alyn and Deeside in May's Welsh Assembly elections. Shane is a 30-year-old bank worker and has been a party activist since he moved to Wales from his native Ireland in 2002 to study at Aberystwyth. Since then Shane has worked in legal practice as well as the financial sector. Shane is a committed socialist and internationalist.
He said: "It was ordinary members of Plaid Cymru who put the biggest effort into campaigning for a Yes vote in Thursday’s referendum and their efforts have been rewarded with the overwhelming vote in favour of law-making powers for the Welsh people.
"It is clear from this result that in north-east Wales a lot has changed since 1997 and the people of Alyn and Deeside now need a stronger voice in the Senedd.
"The Tory/Lib Dem government want to slash the Welsh representation in Westminster by a quarter. They have launched an onslaught on public services that will see Flintshire workers lose their jobs and key services put under threat.
"Now, more than ever, we need a socialist voice to protect and progress the needs of the people of Alyn and Deeside, and this can now be achieved by the people of Wales for the people of Wales. Plaid is the only party not answerable to the London political elite and can truly act in the interests of the people of Wales. We will fight to ensure that the cuts do not fall on the most vulnerable industrial areas in north-east Wales.
"It would be an honour to serve the people of Alyn and Deeside and one that I would undertake with passion and commitment."