Dearey still a Green Party favourite in Co Louth

THE redrawing of the political map for the general election will change the course of political careers here in Louth.

THE redrawing of the political map for the general election will change the course of political careers here in Louth.

As the number of Louth TDs increases to five, the Green's Mark Dearey and Labour's Ged Nash will also have their eye on the extra seat.

Dearey is an established name with the Green party nationally.

In the 2007 election he polled one of the highest first preferences of any Green candidate in the country.

He was vice-chairman of Dundalk Town Council but resigned that seat and his county council seat when he took up a seat in An Seanad where he has been quite vocal.

And unlike Fianna Fail senators who have been in open revolt about their party's plan to hold an election day referendum to abolish the Seanad, our Green senator has welcomed any move that would allow the people to decide the future of the upper house.

The scrapping of the Seanad would save the country 25m euro a year and while Dearey believes it should be kept, he is wise enough to support his own party and the wishes of the people at the same time.

One of his main campaign issues the last time out was to guarantee the future of the Louth County Hospital.

This was to be part of any negotiation for Government that the Green Party would be involved in after the election.

To be able to deliver for the hospital would be a dream come true, he said.

It didn't.

Another campaign issue was to dramatically increase investment in education and reduce class sizes initially to below 25 by employing an additional 2,400 teachers.

That didn't happen either.

Climate change was also an issue.

It was important that we didn't overheat the planet and the Greens were up for the challenge.

The problem is that they went into government with Fianna Fail and nearly burned themselves out in the process.

The Labour Party's Jed Nash will be making his general election debut. A Drogheda man, he has a strong home base, but Labour have a problem getting votes this side of the country, and that's going to be a real challenge.