Sinn Fein unveiled 20 candidates for the Mid Ulster super-council election on the Hill of the O’Neills, referencing the clan’s historical battles with the British.
The party who are contesting half of the 40 seats available in the new local administration covering Dungannon, Cookstown and Magherafelt, claimed strength in numbers.
Candidates from across the three areas gathered at Ranfurly House, on Friday to officially launch their campaign, ahead of the May 22 election.
Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP, Michelle Gildernew, said the party was ready to maiximise their vote.
“Historically the O’Neill clan represented the old Gaelic order in Ulster that was to challenge the might of the British empire in many battles such as Benburb just several miles from the town of Dungannon,” she said.
“Today, Sinn Féin candidates prepare for the electoral campaign, a battle of a somewhat different sort, but a challenge we are prepared for and for which we aim to be successful.”
“Team Sinn Féin are standing 20 candidates, the largest of any political grouping in Mid Ulster, itself a recognition of the political strength we have and the strength we want to return at the end of the election.”
Mr Gildernew said they had double the number of candidates as other nationalist parties.
She added: “Despite what some others say, there is strength in numbers, with Sinn Féin candidates being part of an overall team, not as individuals”.
“By returning the maximum number of Sinn Fein candidates voters can ensure that their voice will be heard loud and clear. Sinn Fein is the only party that will drive the new Mid Ulster Council forward, with a positive agenda to deliver for the people.”
“That Team Sinn Fein also includes local MLAs, Ministers, MPs and of course on election day it will see Martina Anderson being returned as the Sinn Féin MEP.”
European candidate Martina Anderson addressed those attending saying, “This will be a critical election not just for us here in Mid Ulster, but right across Ireland, North, South, East and West people will have the opportunity to vote for Sinn Féin candidates. In every council area we are standing candidates.
“Not even in 1918 when Sinn Féin returned a huge number of MPs, this time the electorate across Ireland will have the vote and the chance to make a difference.”
“I am confident that through your hard work that we will see the greatest number of candidates returned across Ireland” said Martina Anderson.