Local Fine Gael councillor Jim D'Arcy has announced that he is seeking a General Election nomination to stand for the party in the Louth/East Meath constituency.
Cllr D'Arcy was a candidate in the last General Election in 2007, where he took 4.7pc of the first preference votes before being eliminated on the second count.
Since then, he has held significant political roles in Louth and gained a great deal of hands-on political experience across the county. In 2007 he was Chairman of Dundalk Town Council and in 2009 he was Chairman of Louth County Council.
Recognised by peers and citizens alike for his positive contribution to Louth over the years, the Bellurgan NS principal was first elected as a councillor to Louth County Council in June 1999. He has been a member of Dundalk Town Council since 2004.
Speaking about his decision to go forward for another General Election, Cllr D'Arcy said: "As an experienced politician I know how to represent the people of Louth and how to deliver.
"I know how the political systems works and I am very aware of the changes it needs. In particular, the renewed trust that it needs to create with the public at large. The people of Ireland are looking for a new way and a new enthusiasm. Over the years I have gained trust from the citizens of Louth for the work I've done on their behalf and I am very committed to the county.
"We must look forward now, not back, and realise the excellent positioning Louth has in the country. Times are tough yes, but we can get through this by encouraging more foreign direct investment, by encouraging entrepreneurship here at home and by nurturing the good agricultural and food industry that we have locally.
"We all must take on the challenges that face us in the coming years and I am passionate about the potential for Louth.
"To date, I have worked closely with the Louth Economic Forum. Currently 1,000 people are employed in Dundalk through foreign direct investment and we have the infrastructure in place to build upon this figure. I would not only encourage this at Government level, I would become an ambassador for it," he said.
For the past seven years, Cllr D'Arcy has been a member of the Governing Body for Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) and has supported a bid for university status. In recent years he promoted the idea of Dundalk as a city and believes this is more vital than ever for future stability.
Councillor Jim D'Arcy is also a member of the Louth Hospital Support Group and a strong supporter for the retention of services at Louth Hospital.
Speaking at the announcement that he is seeking a nomination to run in the next General Election, Cllr D'Arcy said that Fine Gael policies are the best policies for the country at the present time and that Fine Gael has the best team to bring about economic recovery.
l Cllr Jim D'Arcy (left) with Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and Louth TD Fergus O'Dowd