GE20: Know your candidates for Roscommon-Galway

The countdown is on to GE2020 on Shannonside FM and we’ve put together a list of information on candidates to help you the voter make up your mind in the race for the 33rd Dail in Roscommon-Galway.

Below you will find candidates answering questions about their personal life as well as what they might hope to achieve if they get elected to Leinster House on February 8th.

The candidates are also collated here in no particular order.

Name: Julie O’ Donoghue

julie-o-donoghue-2020

Address:  Roscommon Town, Co. Roscommon

Contact Details: [email protected], @Julie_ODonoghue ( On Twitter) @julieodonoghuegreenparty ( On Facebook)

Party: Green Party

Age: 36

Director of Elections: Aisling Connaughton

Political Career/Involvement to date:

First Time Candidate. I joined the Green Party for their environmental policies and socially progressive values.

Occupation: Secondary School Teacher

Family Details:

Husband: Brian Higgins. Children: Fionn and Ailbhe

Membership of Clubs/Organisations: Founding member of Plastic Free Roscommon. Other community groups I’m a member of include Friends of Breastfeeding, Tidy Towns, Transition Towns.

Election Priorities:
I want to focus on climate action that will bring opportunities for Roscommon-Galway while protecting communities and the environment for our children and grandchildren. I believe that investing in greening our economy will provide a unique opportunity to address the imbalance in development between rural and urban areas.

Many communities in our region are in decline and need to be regenerated and developed. I want to invest in ecotourism, greenways, safe walking and cycling routes, remote working opportunities, public transport, community energy schemes and resilient agriculture and forestry. I believe that economic success needs to be measured by people’s quality of life and want to prioritise essential services such as health, housing and education.

Why people should vote for you?:

Business-as-usual is not working for so many people or the environment and many of us in Roscommon-Galway are looking for change. I want to be a strong, green, progressive voice in Dáil Éireann.

What will you do if elected?:
So much in politics is short term. The answer to many of our problems is looking at the bigger picture, long term planning and really listening to people. I want to establish Just Transition Commissions in our region to bring together people, community groups, local authorities and state bodies to collaborate on long term strategies for a greener, healthier, fairer future for each area.

Any additional information/Comment:
This area has never had a green representative. We need more rural, green voices to represent the interests of every part of the country as we transition to a greener economy.

 

Name: Eugene Murphy

eugene-murphy-2020

 Address: Strokestown, Co Roscommon

Contact Details[email protected]; [email protected]; Twitter: @EugeneMurphyTD; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EugeneMurphyTD/

Instagram: eugenemurphytd

Party/Non Party: Fianna Fáil

Age: 61

Director of Elections: Bernard Kearney

Political Career/Involvement to date:

Elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2016 General Election but was first elected to Roscommon County Council in 1985 so I have over 30 years of experience serving the people of Roscommon.

As a long-time community activist, I am anxious to spearhead the revival of rural communities and some of my priorities include mental health, tackling hospital waiting lists and fighting for the roll-out of high-quality broadband.

I believe that with high-speed broadband there will be more opportunities for business and enterprise in the area. Flooding and flood relief measures are issues of particular importance to me. Ireland needs to face up to the challenges flooding is causing to communities and introduce safeguards and technologies to protect people’s homes and businesses.

I entered politics because I wanted to serve my community and demand better services, infrastructure and quality of life for the people of Roscommon-Galway.

Occupation: Full Time Public Representative

Family Details: Married with two children. My brother Cllr Joe Murphy represents the Boyle Municipal District.

Membership of Clubs/Organisations: Chairman of Strokestown Community Development, St Barry’s GAA, Director of Feile Strokestown, Member of Solstice Choir, Director of Strokestown Town Team.

Election Priorities:

As the Party’s Spokesperson on the OPW and Flood Relief I have worked hard on the many challenges in this brief but also tackling issues which affect everyday life for people. My priorities for the Roscommon/Galway constituency include: Healthcare and mental health services- reducing hospital waiting lists, delivery of projects such as the Sacred Heart Hospital in Roscommon and the 50 bed unit for Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe; provision of highspeed broadband, tackling spiralling insurance costs, provision of affordable housing, services for people with disabilities, focus on Farming and Agriculture, balanced regional development and job creation, climate change, revitalisation of rural towns, ASD services for children and affordable childcare.

Why people should vote for you?

I have worked tirelessly as a public representative for over thirty years and have been a TD for this area for the past three years. I have a proven track record, a strong work ethic and a passion to help improve the quality of life for people in rural Ireland.

 What will you do if elected?

I promise I will continue to work hard to represent your views in the most effective way possible in Dáil Eireann.

Rural Ireland has largely been left behind- we need to build a future where people can live, work and enjoy the many benefits of rural living. If elected I and the Fianna Fáil party will work tirelessly to deliver on my priorities.

 Any additional information/Comment:

I have been honoured to represent the people of Roscommon/Galway in Dáil Eireann over the past number of years and I thank you for your ongoing goodwill and support. I have worked tirelessly as a public representative for over thirty years and have been a TD for this area for the past three years. I have a proven track record, a strong work ethic and a passion to help improve the quality of life for people in rural Ireland.

Name: Claire Kerrane

claire-kerrane-2020

Address: Tibohine, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon

Contact Details: Email: [email protected] Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClaireKerrane Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClaireKerraneSF

Party/Non Party: Sinn Féin

Age: 27

Director of Elections: Jim Gaffney and Michael Mulligan

Political Career/Involvement to date:

Joined Sinn Féin in late teens
Ran in the 2016 General election – polled over 3,000 first preference votes
Have worked with the party in Leinster House for the past four years
General election 2020 will be my second election

Occupation:
Qualified Secondary School Teacher but currently Political Adviser on Employment Affairs, Social Protection & Pensions for the party

Family Details:

My mother is Angela, a local Primary School Principal. My father is Gerry, a small beef farmer. I have two brothers (one older, one younger) and one sister (younger)

Membership of Clubs/Organisations:

Member of the National Women’s Council of Ireland

Election Priorities:

Health, including mental health care and supports for Carers, local services, housing, sustaining the family farm, reducing the cost of living for workers and families and maintaining the pension age at 65 for those who wish to retire at 65 are my priorities
Both Roscommon & Galway have been stripped of vital services for years – St. Brigid’s in Ballinasloe, our Accident & Emergency Unit in Roscommon, Garda stations, the Rosalie Home in Castlerea, Cuisle in Donamon only a short few weeks ago. And what have we been left with? A mental health crisis, particularly among young people, an ambulance service that is not what was promised on the closure of the A&E (a rapid response ambulance service), pressures on UHG and Portiuncula with patients lying on trolleys on a daily basis, increased rural crime and anti-social behaviour due to a lack of Gardaí on the beat, and Carers who cannot access respite.

Farming is vital to this region yet the way farmers have been treated by Government parties, you would think we didn’t need them at all. They are on their knees and setting up a talking shop about beef prices in Dublin has achieved nothing. And if one puts all of that to one side, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have also delivered a cost of living that is crippling workers and families from insurance to childcare to rent. We cannot keep saying how terrible it is, we have to take action.

Why people should vote for you?:

I want to make peoples’ lives better. I am of the strongest belief that Counties like Roscommon, Galway and indeed the entire Western region deserve our fair share, something we have not seen under Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

I am asking voters to consider what has been delivered for Roscommon and Galway, not talked about, but actually delivered by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. I am asking people to give me a chance on February 8th, to give Sinn Féin a chance and judge us on what we will actually do.

What will you do if elected?:
I will work hard for the people of Roscommon & Galway and by that I mean, to actually deliver for the people, their families and their communities, not just talk and shout. I am part of a party that has brought forward the alternatives that will tackle the many crises we face.

Far too many workers and families are paying taxes and seeing nothing in return. They need a break. We need to aggressively reduce the cost of living for workers and families – tackling childcare costs, insurance and rents. Sinn Féin will lift one million workers out of the USC by abolishing it on income under €30,000. More than that, we will ensure that everyone pays their fair share of tax and not just ordinary working people. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have handed the banks (that we bailed out) a tax holiday for 25-30 years so while they make billions in profit annually, they will not pay a red cent in tax. Both parties are happy to tax ordinary people to the hilt, but not the banks. This needs to end. Sinn Féin has a plan, costed and comprehensive to tackle the housing crisis. We will deliver the biggest public housing programme in our history, we will cut rents and freeze them and we will ensure that affordable housing is available and really affordable to people.
There is too much money wasted in too many sections of our health service. For instance, since 2011, Fine Gael has spent €2.1 billion of taxpayers’ money on temporary Agency Staff in our hospitals instead of recruiting and retaining nurses in our health service. There is also too much money wasted on HSE management at the upper levels rather than resourcing front-line staff.

While candidates have been tripping over each other to take credit for arranging meetings to secure the 50 bed unit in Portiuncula, these beds will not be able to be used if Fine Gael does not lift the embargo on nurse recruitment. These are not new beds – they are simply bringing back some of the beds closed by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. We have a ridiculous situation where there is a waiting list to get into hospital and a waiting list to get out. So, we need to lift the recruitment embargo on nurses, hire front-line staff, including midwives, home help care workers and Occupational Therapists. We need to fund home help hours, open hospital beds and I believe, we need to look at opening an Accident & Emergency Unit at Roscommon Hospital given the pressures elsewhere.

Roscommon & Galway needs investment and we need jobs. Without which people will simply not be able to live and work in rural areas, as much as they might want to and most do. We need to stop talking about rural Ireland and shouting and roaring about the unfairness and we need to deliver. Again, despite all the talk, it was Fianna Fail and Fine Gael who voted to block Sinn Féin legislation to make it law for rural areas to get equal investment and for Government decisions and policy to be rural-proofed. So, Fianna Fáil cannot tell the people here one thing and do the opposite in Dáil Éireann – it is disingenuous and it is one thing I will never do, if elected.

 

Name: Denis Naughten

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Address: Roscommon Town.

Contact Details: (Phone, email, Twitter/Facebook) :

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DenisNaughtenTD/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/DenisNaughten

Party/Non Party: Non-Party

Age: 46

Director of Elections:

Cllr Laurence Fallon

 Political Career/Involvement to date:

Denis served as Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment from May 2016 until October 2018.

A scientist by profession, Denis was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1997 and has been successfully re-elected on each occasion since.

Denis was expelled from the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party in July 2011, for voting against a Government reversal of written commitment’s given by the coalition parties in advance of the 2011 election, on health services at Roscommon County Hospital.

He was re-elected as an Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway at the 2016 General Election. Denis sits as an independent TD in Dáil Éireann.

 Occupation: Public representative.

Family Details:

Denis is a father of four young children. He is a son of the late Liam Naughten who was a Dáil Deputy from 1982 to 1989 and a member of the Seanad from 1981 to 1982 and 1989 to 1996.

Denis has a keen interest in all sports and has played Gaelic football with Clann na nGael GAA club, and has held both county and provincial athletic titles with Moore AC.

Membership of Clubs/Organisations:

Denis has a keen interest in all sports and has played Gaelic football with Clann na nGael GAA club, and has held both county and provincial athletic titles with Moore AC.

Election Priorities:

Local jobs

Local health services

Why people should vote for you?:

Back in 2016 many parts of Roscommon & East Galway had been forgotten. There was little Government investment and communities were dying. Over my time in Government I was committed to turning this around with significant investment in infrastructure across rural Ireland:

 Broadband

 Action Plan for Rural Development

 Rural Regeneration Funds

 Urban Regeneration Fund

 Outdoor Recreation Fund

 Town & Village Renewal Fund

 Tourism funding & Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands brand

 Health Services & staffing

Over my term in Government I secured funding for the new 50 bed ward block at Portiuncula Hospital and €750,000 each year for 16 new medical staff at Roscommon Hospital, which will allow for the expansion of local medical services & the development of new services for older people that will prevent them being admitted to hospital and allow them to return home quicker.

What will you do if elected?:

But many local people still leave their homes early in the morning, sit in traffic & arrive home late in the evening because they are unable to work locally. As the father of a young family I want to make things better for tomorrow & for the future.

I want to build on the infrastructure investment that is taking place in sport & recreation facilities, digital hubs, broadband & enterprise centres in our local towns & rural areas to relocate existing jobs as well as to bring in new jobs.

It is not just new technology, it’s also about supporting and growing our farming and food sectors with the focus on making our family farms financially viable by improving prices and supports.

The same applies to our health service. More and more services are being pushed into already overcrowded hospitals in our cities while our local hospitals, primary care centres, GPs & pharmacies could do much more. We must treat people locally and let technology do the travelling, not the sick patient.

 

Name: Michael Fitzmaurice

michale-fitz

Address: Strangeforth, Williamstown, Co. Galway.

Contact Details:

Email: [email protected],

Twitter: @MichaelFitzmau1,

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MichaelFitzmauriceTD) :

Party/Non Party: Independent

Director of Elections: Marty Ward,

Political Career/Involvement to date:

  • Chair of the Turf Cutters and Contractors Association;
  • Elected to Galway County Council in 2014;
  • Elected as a TD for the Roscommon/South Leitrim Constituency in 2014, to replace Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan;
  • Elected as a TD for the Roscommon-Galway Constituency in 2016;
  • Seeking re-election to the Dail.

Occupation: Farmer/ Agricultural Contractor/ Turf Cutter

Family Details:

Married to Maria with three children, two girls and a boy.

Membership of Clubs/Organisations:

On the board of management of our local school, Turf Cutters and Contractors Association actively supports the GAA and other sports clubs.

Election Priorities:

  • The growth and development of Rural Communities through the development of infrastructure leading to sustainable employment.
  • Family Farms need greater support, we need fair prices so that factories and large retailers cannot destroy the sustainability of smaller producers.
  • To halt attempts to increase carbon taxes which would unfairly hit rural dwellers, farmers and contractors.
  • A Broadband programme is in place – I will be vigilant to ensure that it is implemented in Rural areas.
  • It is essential that a plan is in place to ensure that we have quality water and improved funding is needed for Irish Water so that it can implement plans to improve sewage systems in our towns and villages which would allow them to develop.
  • The right of people to cut their own turf, in their own bogs, for their own use.
  • The protection of our most vulnerable people, our elderly, our people with disabilities, our unemployed and those living in isolation.
  • The retention of services in our local areas.
  • The development of our Tourism potential.
  • Proactive policies to promote the return of our emigrant children and ensure that Planning agencies and others facilitate them.
  • Support for tax relief on childcare fees.
  • Progressive policies at local and national level to ensure people can continue to live in the countryside.
  • To restructure the HSE to ensure that there are more frontline staff so that waiting lists and trolley numbers can be reduced.
  • A complete revamp of the Insurance industry so that Childcare facilities, Creches, and other Community facilities are not decimated.

Why people should vote for you?:

Since I was first elected to Dail Eireann, I have endeavoured to represent people to the best of my ability. I have continuously drawn attention to the issues and challenges facing people in rural Ireland. It also has given me great pride to highlight the major contributions being made by our farmers and everybody living in rural areas. If people choose to vote for me in the upcoming General Election on February 8th, I will continue with my efforts to ensure that rural Ireland is not forgotten. We need to stem the tide of decline on our farms as well as in our rural towns and villages. If proper incentives and policies are put in place, then businesses can be established or relocated to rural areas, which would provide people with employment opportunities – rather than having to face into long commutes every day or moving into larger urban areas.

What will you do if elected?:

If elected I would continue to shine a light on the issues and challenges facing rural Ireland. As it stands, there is a broadband plan in place. I will work to ensure that this critical infrastructure is delivered to every home, school and farm in rural Ireland – as it has been dogged by delays for far too long.

In relation to the health service, I feel it is top heavy with management and needs to be slimmed down. It is regrettable that we are training doctors and nurses in this country which are then emigrating in search of better working conditions. A full reform is required to ensure that additional frontline staff can be hired to ease the burden on our emergency departments and throughout our health service.

With regards to the Fair Deal Scheme, the previously agreed new rules of the scheme need to be immediately implemented by the incoming Government in order to protect family farms.

The next few years will also be critical when it comes to both the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Brexit. I have continuously campaigned to ensure that the family farm is supported. Both CAP and Brexit could have a major impact on the prosperity of farms in rural Ireland; and it is important that the voice of small family farms is listened to. I also believe that rural homeowners must be allowed to continue to harvest and use their own turf.

Given the situation that has developed with Bord na Mona in recent months, it is vital that jobs are saved and that a just transition strategy is put in place and followed to protect all who have been employed there over the years. Efforts also need to made to encourage prospective employers to establish operations in the midlands and the west of Ireland to ensure the surrounding rural communities can develop and grow.

Any additional information/Comment:

I would like to thank all of the people who have supported me in my role as a TD in recent years. I have to pay tribute to my wife Maria and our three children for their continued assistance and support. It is also a pleasure to work alongside such a dedicated campaign team and office staff. I truly appreciate the support I have received so far in this election campaign and I hope to be able to represent the people of the Roscommon-Galway constituency moving forward. I would encourage everyone to familiarise themselves with all of the candidates and to cast their vote on February 8th, 2020.

 

Name: Councillor Aisling Dolan

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Address: Poolboy, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway

Contact Details: [email protected]

Facebook: AislingDolanCllr

Twitter: @AislingD_Cllr

Insta: cllr_aisling_dolan

Party/Non Party: Fine Gael

Age: 44

Director of Elections: Vincent Parsons

Political Career/Involvement to date:

Elected to Galway County Council as a councillor for Ballinasloe Municipal District in May 2019 on her first run in politics with almost 1,100 first preference votes.

Leas-Cathaoirleach Ballinasloe Municipal District Council 2019/20.

She joined Fine Gael party in November 2019. Selected to run as election candidate for Fine Gael in Roscommon-Galway constituency in November 2019

Occupation:

Project Manager, Health Innovation Hub, NUI Galway

Family Details: Parents are Tony and Teresa Dolan

Aisling’s father Tony and grandfather James Dolan supported the Fine Gael party down through the years.

Membership of Clubs/Organisations:

Ballinasloe Says No community action group – successfully fought the location of a waste transfer facility in Ballinasloe Town

Galway-Roscommon Education & Training Board

Member of Regional Health Forum West

Board of Management of St. Killian’s School, New Inn

Board of Management of Roscommon Community College

Galway County Council Strategic Policy Committee- Climate Change and Biodiversity – includes IFA Participation

Election Priorities:

Health – Committed to supporting and enhancing facilities at Portiuncula Hospital Ballinasloe, Roscommon Hospital and supporting healthcare in community settings

Environment – Supporting eco-tourism, location of a greenway regional office in the constituency, promoting heritage tourism, fighting for environmental awareness and local causes

Rural affairs – Understands the needs and problems associated with rural farming, fight for more support for farm families, secure rural broadband, help access funding for local communities to help create jobs and attract investment

Why people should vote for you?:

I have a strong voice and I’m a worker. I fight for local communities and have a track record of getting things done e.g securing a meeting with the Health Minister which resulted in the announcement of funding for a 50-bed unit at Portiuncula Hospital.

Also successfully led a campaign against a waste transfer station in Ballinasloe. I’m trustworthy and committed to ensuring that Roscommon and East Galway get their fair share of investment and funding.

What will you do if elected?:

I will ensure that funding comes to Roscommon and East Galway. There are huge opportunities to create employment outside of major cities if local communities get the right support. I’ll ensure that they can access funds and continue to live and work in rural areas.

I will also fight to ensure that our hospitals are as adequately resourced and upgraded rather than downgraded, to reduce trolley waiting times and improve patient outcomes.

I will be the voice for farmers in rural areas who have not felt the effects of the upturn in the economy and are still struggling.

I will liaise with the Agriculture Minister and farm groups to ensure we resolve and improve the lives of people trying to make a living from farming.

Any additional information/Comment:

I was born and reared in a rural setting in East Galway and it’s time that the Roscommon and East Galway region had a strong voice in government. I’m not afraid of hard work and will fight for every support and investment possible for the region.

It’s time that East Galway and Roscommon elects a TD that has a voice at the top table that can ensure the area becomes a priority for government.

Name: James Hope

james-hope

Address: Cloonmeen, Cloontia, Ballaghdereen

Contact Details: [email protected]

Party: Aontú

Age: 42

Director of Elections: Adrian O’Boyle

Political Career/Involvement to date:

James was previously a member of the Green Party and ran as a green candidate in the local elections in Galway in 2008.

He joined Aontú when it was founded in 2019.

Occupation: English language teacher

Family Details:

I have 3 young children. I have no formal family political connections.

Membership of Clubs/Organisations:

He was President of NUI Galway Student’s Union, and Chair of the board of directors of various campus businesses.

Election Priorities:
My election priorities are:
• To stand up for farmers and rural Ireland and continue the work of Aontú to ban the below cost sale of beef.

• Addressing the years of neglect of rural Ireland by successive governments and ensuring that we maintain local services, and oppose the government’s vision for us as a province of coniferous trees to offset the carbon emissions of the East Coast

• Reversing the Government decision to raise the pension age to 67 then 68

• Addressing the health crisis by ensuing better value for the funds invested, and focussing on ensuring the adequate resourcing of primary and secondary care

• Managing the housing crisis by building social housing and stop the inflation of private rental prices with HAP

• Supporting the aims of the Alliance for Insurance Reform to address exaggerated claims and inflated awards

• Sustainable care for the environment

Why people should vote for you?:

I have a long history of campaigning for important issues. I have campaigned for better disability access, better environmental policies, and better pay and conditions for nurses. If elected I will work hard for you.

A TD is the servant of the people and I will do my utmost to.

Aontú is a new all-Ireland political party with core values of Unity, Economic Justice and Life, led by Peadar Tóibín TD. I want to revitalise rural Ireland and ensure that Roscommon’s voice is heard in the Dail and that everyone benefits from the upswing in the economy.

What will you do if elected?:

I want to revitalise rural communities in the West of Ireland and end the overheating of Dublin by creating a technology and industrial corridor along the western part of the N5 towards Knock Airport. I support the development of infrastructure needed to move 21st century industry into Connaught.

I want to support farming families by breaking the cartels that force farmers to sell below cost.

I strongly advocate financial and logistical supports for parents to raise their children in a safe environment without fear of poverty or eviction.

I have pledged to fight against the closure of vital support centres like Cuisle.

Any additional information/Comment:

There is a crisis in farming. Factories have enormous buying power while farmers have practically no influence on price. A small number of factories and supermarket multiples are making hundreds of millions of euro in profit while forcing farmers to supply beef at a loss. It’s estimated that for every €100 farmers earn, €73 is directly spent back into the local economy. Unfortunately, recent analyses indicate that fewer and fewer independent farms are currently economically sustainable.

Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil have allowed the worst-off and most vulnerable farmers to be driven into poverty, debt and off the land for years. In recent times especially, farmers across the state have stood up for their families and their livelihoods.

There are further threats to farming in the near future. Fine Gael, through its European Commissioner Phil Hogan, has negotiated the EU-Mercosur trade deal, which will result in unprecedented pressure on Irish agriculture, with 99,000 tonnes of South American beef to be imported to the EU market.

This is all being done without any regard to the environment as further swathes of forests in South America will be cleared for cattle-grazing. In Ireland, this jeopardises farmers further. Brexit is looming and regional imbalance is getting worse.

Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has introduced into the Dáil a bill that would ban the below cost sale of beef.

Aontú also hosted a large delegation of farmers in Leinster House to encourage the establishment parties to support the Aontú Equitable Beef Pricing Bill.

Name: Paul Hanley

paul-hanley-2020

Address: Rooskey, Co. Roscommon

Contact Details:

Party: National Party

Age: 48

Political Career/Involvement to date:

None

Occupation: Company director

Membership of Clubs/Organisations:

Longford Golf Club

Election Priorities:

The present Dail has no true opposition. The parties may shout and point fingers at each other across the floor of the Dail but there are no true Nationalist/patriotic parties with any say in Ireland.

The Irish people will be a minority in their own homeland in the next 40 years if we do not man our borders.

Why people should vote for you?:

With no strong opposition in the Dail the country is heading on a dangerous trajectory. Vocal opposition has always been the bulwark against tyranny. The new hate speech laws proposed by the last government will stifle any opposition or discussion on many topics relevant to the people of Ireland. This is a very serious development and I will oppose such legislation.

What will you do if elected?:

The Irish farming community and older population in Roscommon/Galway are not being adequately represented. We can see this in the recent beef protests in relation to farm incomes. Everyone down the line must make a living and farm incomes have been squeezed for a long time now.

I have been out of beef farming for many years but I see the hardships faced by farmers in Roscommon/Galway. The National Party, if elected, would propose a private members bill for fair pricing legislation based on minimum wage legislation. A guarantee to farmers for a fair share of the final retail price of beef. Also we would stop all EU imports.

I have first-hand experience of older family members and the defunding of care services in the Roscommon/Galway area. The closing of the Cuisle holiday and respite center in Donamon, Roscommon, was of relevance to me as my mother had just availed of its facilities a month before the announcement.

There are multinational corporations 1 hour 45 minutes up the road in Dublin taking advantage of our generous tax rate, of which we are well aware they do not pay the full amount, and we are closing facilities for our most vulnerable.

I would also propose a new rehabilitation centre along the lines of Dun Laoighre rehab centre to be located in the midlands. With proper rehabilitation many people would be able to go home and be cared for by relatives or the care services. People are happier in their own homes.

Any additional information/Comment:

There has been no proper planning by the previous governments in relation to the amount of migration into the country. If our borders were respected and people that want to come and work here use our visa system we can properly plan for the future in relation to housing, health, schooling and all the rest of our needs. Presently if our borders are left open it will be difficult times ahead for the native population and those foreign nationals already here.

 

Name: Kenny Tynan 

kenny-tynan-2020

Address:  BALLYFORAN, BALLINASLOE, CO. ROSCOMMON

Contact Details:

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter @kennytynanpbp

Party/Non Party: People Before Profit

Age: 38

Director of Elections 

I am directing my own campaign

Political Career/Involvement to date:

Kenny Tynan, former radio presenter for RosFM, has worked tirelessly for medicinal cannabis access, and is one of the few licence holders to be allowed access in Ireland. He has been a strong voice and a guiding hand many patients, travelling the country holding information meetings, and speaking alongside TD Gino Kenny and Vera Twomey (Author/Medical Cannabis Campaigner) about the benefits and challenges we face in accessing a safe and regulated medicine that has shown to help so many get back a good quality of life.  Kenny also was a volunteer for disadvantaged youths, and helped to fundraise for many other charitable works.

An avid human rights activist, with a fresh rural and cultural perspective – Kenny is from the village of Ballyforan, Co Roscommon, and is a family man with four boys

Occupation: Former Radio Presenter at RosFm

Family Details:

Married to Marie Tynan, four boys between the ages of 4 and 19.

Membership of Clubs/Organisations:

Society for the study of Cannabis, Aragon – Spain

The High Queen Chess Society – Athlone

Athlone Darts Club

Ex – Athlone Youth Club – Volunteer

Election Priorities:

Homes For All – Need Not Greed

Cut rents

End the two-tier health service

Restore pension age to 65

Cap Childcare Fees

Real equality for people with disabilities and special needs

Abolish unjust taxes and end rip off Insurance.

Why people should vote for you?:

I’m living in Roscommon just over ten years, and I love the people, the atmosphere and the community spirit. However, for such a beautiful part of the country, we can greatly improve the amenities in our underserviced areas.

I come with a fresh and clear perspective, coming from a city like environment, to living in a rural village, I can see the challenges we face as a growing community. I’m just an ordinary family man that wants to make a better future for our children. Be the change you want to see in the world.

What will you do if elected?:

Taking agriculture out of the hands of the big companies, and giving it back to the hands of local farmers.

Keeping the pension age at 65, as opposed to the government current plan to raise it to 68, making it the highest in the developed world.

Restore pay to the Nurses, Teachers, and frontline staff that took the hit during the recession.  We need to make better conditions for these people that dedicate their lives to the service of others.

Introduce a rural transport scheme, starting with an extension of the bus service in Athlone to service areas such as Brideswell, Cam, Dysart, Ballyforan, and Ballygar. This will give the elderly and differently-abled a chance to socialise, as well as introducing a way for people to get work for people living in rural areas.

Develop and introduce a “Grow Your Own” fruit and vegetable scheme in our schools, which will teach about self sustainability, nature, and mindfulness.

Ensure proper rent controls, and the development of more social housing.  Rents are skyrocketing, with it becoming ever increasingly harder to get on the property ladder. Despite being a far richer country now, we had more social housing in the 1970’s.

Make it easier to return to work by initiating a cap on childcare costs. Parents are spending huge portions of their wages on childcare, as opposed to other European countries. Childcare is a necessity to have for every parent who works, and it should be treated as such.

Restore budgetary cuts for the differently-abled, and introduce new schemes to replace older schemes like the motor transport grant. Reduce waiting lists for autism and other disabilities, and end of the two-tier public health service, for a more equality-based service.

Actively engage to further the Medicinal Cannabis Access scheme, to make it more accessible to those who could benefit from its use. Currently the access scheme is in its early stages, but is very restrictive; I would campaign to include conditions like chronic pain.

Name: Orla Leyden

orla-leyden-ge2020

Address: Castlecoote, Co. Roscommon

Contact Details:

Email: [email protected]

Twitter / Instagram @orlaleyden

https://www.facebook.com/OrlaLeyden/

www.orlaleyden.com

Party/Non Party: Fianna Fail

Age: 46

Director of Elections: Larry Brennan

Political Career/Involvement to date:

I was first elected to Roscommon County Council in 2004 and have been elected in four consecutive local elections serving in Roscommon Municipal District and prior to that in the Mid Roscommon Electoral area.

I am currently Chairperson of Roscommon Municipal District, Chairperson of the Economic Development and Enterprise Support (including Tourism, Culture and Libraries) Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) and Chairperson Climate Action Sub-committee of the Environment SPC.

I also currently serve on the Northern and Western Regional Assembly, Western Regional Drugs and Alcohol Taskforce and Roscommon Joint Policing Committee.

I was Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council (June 2017 – June 2018).

I previously served on Galway Roscommon Education Training Board, Roscommon Vocational Education Committee and on Athlone Institute of Technology as a member of the Board of Governors.

Occupation:
Public Representative

Background in Community Development and Social Research

Family Details:

I am married to Paolo Roberto. We live in Castlecoote, Co. Roscommon with our daughter, Donata who is a 6th class pupil in Fuerty National School.

Father – Terry Leyden, former TD for Roscommon East Galway, former Minister of State and Senator

Membership of Clubs/Organisations:

I am an active member of Roscommon Town Team, some recent Town Team projects include: installation of new CCTV in Roscommon Town, Explore & Restore events; Interactive Heritage Tour of Town, Major Enhancement of Loughnaneane Park, with new footpaths, planning secured and funding for Coach parking area at Roscommon Castle.

I was a Member and Chairperson, Roscommon Community Sports Park which saw the development of Roscommon Community Sports Park including Astro Turf Pitch, car park.

I also secured part funding from Sports Capital Grant for next phase of project i.e. development of Changing rooms and toilets.

I worked with Roscommon Women’s Network (RWN) for ten years as a voluntary member on Board of Directors. RWN is a local community project dedicated to supporting women and families throughout County Roscommon.

As a member of Roscommon Lion’s Club, Quad, Youth Centre Development Committee I worked with a great team to develop the Quad Youth Centre in Roscommon Town. It is managed by Foroige.

I have been working on a number of projects with the Suck Valley Development Co-operative and Suck Valley Angling Hub in Roscommon and Galway. I was the project Co-ordinator for the film documentary “Along by the River: Discover the River Suck” produced by Mimar Media which tells the story of the River Suck, its people and places from Lake O’ Flynn to Shannonbridge.

This was screened in Ballinasloe Town Hall Theatre, Roscommon Arts Centre and Athleague Community Centre and videos edits are available to watch on Youtube (Along by the River: Discover the River Suck) where they can be shared to promote the tourism amenity of the River Suck.

I also initiated and sourced funding and for www.discoversuckvalleyway.ie which showcases the 9 friendly villages on the Suck Valley Way,
Ballygar, Creggs, Glinsk, Ballymoe, Ballintubber, Dunamon, Castlecoote, Athleague, Mount Talbot and Castlerea town working with the Suck Valley Development Co-operative.

I also coordinated Angling Infrastructure projects on the River Suck at a number of locations in Castlecoote, Kilbegnet and the Oran area. I have also continuously supported the work of the Lough Ree Angling Hub with its many successful International events and projects in Ballyleague and environs.

I am also a member of Castlecoote Tidy Towns Committee, Fuerty Castlecoote Defibrillator Group and Athleague Comhaltas Ceoltóirí éireann, Roscommon Twinning Committee

Election Priorities:

Never before has a roof over one’s head and a home to call ones own been so unattainable for so many. Housing must be made a priority. I’m passionate about finding a solution . We need to see more affordable, social and private houses being built in Roscommon Galway.

Health care is in the midst of an all-time crisis with unprecedented numbers on trolleys, at any time this can be one of our parents, our partner, our children, ourselves – this is not acceptable. We need radical changes within the system and it needs to be accessible to all regardless of income.

I want every child in Roscommon Galway to be treated equally with ready access to essential services and supports, such as speech and language therapy, audiology and psychology. And Increased investment in positive mental health and wellness is essential, to improve mental health services for children, adolescents and adults.

Rural Ireland is in danger of being left behind, I want to see it put it back on national the agenda – agriculture and farming have a huge place with Roscommon Galway and its future needs to be protected with improved and simplified schemes and supports and a fair price for farmers. I want to help address rural isolation and see investment in a network of local transport initiatives into our rural villages and our towns in Roscommon Galway.

We live in a beautiful part of the world in Irelands Hidden Heartlands with a rich history and heritage. We have such a vast array of natural amenities right on our doorstep from the suck valley way to the Beara-Breifne way, with the rivers suck and Shannon flowing through Roscommon Galway. I want to see tourism playing a vital role in the future with real investment and promotion of our area.

I know that So many small businesses are fighting to keeping their doors open, I want to see more support measures implemented and the developments of enterprise and innovation hubs in our key towns to sustain and encourage job creation.

Climate change is a key issue for our time, a climate action plan needs to be developed which will provide practical solutions for a sustainable roadmap for Roscommon Galway.

· A Home for All: Increase Affordable, Social, Private Housing
· Better Healthcare & Homecare and Home Help supports
· Improved Disability & Respite Services & campaign for new facility at Cuisle
· Increased support for positive Mental Health and Wellness
· Increased support for Family Carers
· Increased investment in Childcare sector and support childcare workers
· A new 25 bed rehabilitation unit at Roscommon University Hospital
· A new 50 bed Residential care centre at Sacred Heart Hospital
· A new 50 Bed ward Block at Portiuncula University Hospital
· Support Agriculture in our region
· Support inward investment in Roscommon Galway and indigenous SMEs
· Develop Innovation & Enterprise Centres: Roscommon Town &
Ballinasloe
· Support Revitalisation of St. Brigid’s Campus: multi use; community, heritage & enterprise
· Public Transport: More Rail & Local Transport Initiatives & roads funding
· Develop Tourism: Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands
· Re-establish 4th Western Brigade, Custume Barracks, Athlone
· Action on Climate Change & Increased Just Transition funds
· Tackle Crime – More Gardaí, new CCTV funding, rural crime taskforce
· Support Planet Youth – to reduce use of alcohol, tobacco & other drugs

Why people should vote for you?:

I have the experience, commitment, determination and caring approach to make a real positive difference to the lives of individuals, families and communities in Roscommon Galway. I want to see a fairer Ireland.

I’ve been a county councillor for over fifteen years and as a working mother, I know the demands placed upon families.

What will you do if elected?:

I will work to ensure we create a fairer Ireland for all and that everyone in Roscommon Galway is treated equally with ready access to essential services and supports. I will ensure that Mental health services are properly resourced and that the growing issue of drugs in Roscommon Galway is tackled.

I will be ambitious for Roscommon Galway and work to ensure that we have a sustainable future with job creation, support for agriculture and a fair price for farmers and investment in tourism. I will be an energetic and strong voice for Roscommon Galway if elected on the 8th February.

Any additional information/comment:

I am running a no poster General Election 2020 Campaign in the interest of the environment and local amenity.

I am a graduate of NUI, Galway with a BA in Sociology and Politics and Italian, M.Litt (Masters) in Sociology and Politics and Diploma in Community Development Practice.

Name: Thomas Fallon

thomas-fallon-2020

Address: Tulsk, Castlerea, Co Roscommon

Contact details:

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: Thomas d Fallon

Party/Non Party: Independent

Occupation: Professional driver

Membership of clubs/organisations:

Member of the Civil Defence

Family Details:

Family man with four kids

Election Priorities:

To stand up for our careers and to ensure they get the help they need.
To fight for the small farmers who are getting the raw deal and are being forced off the land.

The development of infrastructure, through renewable energy and to generate sustainable jobs.

More investment and support for our S.M.Es.

Better community policing to protect our elderly and vulnerable.

Why people should vote for you?:

I will support young people in their endeavors to change to a green environment. Promote the benefits of walkways/cycle ways, encouraging active lifestyle and to reduce a carbon footprint.

What will you do if elected?:

If elected I will work hard to ensure the Irish government is accountable to Rural Ireland. I take pride in and working hard for our community and country.

A yes vote is a vote for family values.

Promote climate action through incentives and investments and not carbon taxes.

I want an Ireland where everybody contributes to society with fair conditions and decent wages to allow them to raise their families in comfort. I will also stand up for reduction in the increasing costs of premiums and huge profits of insurance companies I will fight to ensure that the people who want to retire at 65 back allowed to do so on full state pension.

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