A FORMER Sinn Féin councillor in Laois has joined the Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA). Alan Hand, a long-time political and community activist, joined the AAA in the past few weeks, after his application was formally accepted.
Mr Hand resigned his council seat while a Sinn Féin councillor in August 2013, citing personal reasons. He did not renew his Sinn Féin membership at the beginning of this year.
The move is sure to give the AAA party in Laois a major boost, as Mr Hand was seen as a hardworking councillor and community activist. It is understood that other prominent Sinn Féin members in Laois have also joined the Laois AAA. One of them is the party’s county organiser Brian Furlong, with other former Sinn Féin members offering their full support to the AAA.
When asked why he did not renew his membership with Sinn Féin, Mr Hand said: “I didn’t like the direction they were going in.”
Asked if he had any intentions of contesting the next general election in Laois, Mr Hand said: “It’s up to the party here locally to decide who, or indeed, if they wish to select anyone for the general election campaign. If they do, that person will be guaranteed 100% effort and support from all the AAA party workers in Laois.”
His first public outing as an AAA member was last Friday when he joined other members of the party in Portlaoise in a leafleting campaign opposing water charges and calling on people to ignore Irish Water bills when they come through their doors in April.