What do you think will be the main issues coming up on the doorsteps in Louth when the election campaign officially gets under way?
People have been raising a wide range of issues with me. It is different at every door you go to. Many families have brought up housing issues and the high costs of rents. There are themes such as healthcare waiting lists, lack of homecare services, lack of respite and woeful mental health services provision. A big issue is the dangers posed by drug gangs and addiction, the shortfall in policing and necessary services. Crime, burglaries and violent crime is too commonly raised. Then you might have a farmer trying to make a living off the family farm and the poor price they are getting for beef. Council issues such as roads, drains and dumping are never too far away.
What should be the key local priorities for the Louth/Meath East constituency in the next Dail?
Dealing with the housing shortage by building more homes and by introducing a rent freeze for 3 years and a tax refund on rent. We need a solution to the high debt servicing costs Louth County Council has on land banks bought on government instruction.
I also want to focus on challenging the epidemic of drugs in our communities. We need fully resourced policing to deal with criminal gangs. We also need the required services to break the cycle of addiction and crime. We have had a huge rise in drug-related crime, intimidation and antisocial behaviour. We have had shooting and barbarity related to the drugs epidemic within the last number of days in Drogheda.
Why should people vote for you?
I am a proud Irish Republican and if elected I will continue to work towards a United Ireland and a better society for all. I will work hard for Louth. I want to help deliver a Primary Care Centre and a Children’s Mental Health facility in Dundalk. I want to ensure we have enough gardaí so that drug pushers are removed from our communities. I will not side with corporate landlords, developers, insurance companies and vulture funds. I want to deliver for working families.
If you had the power to make one big thing happen, locally or nationally, what would it be?
I would end the insurance rip off that is absolutely crippling people at this time. Everyone is affected by this from motorists to small and medium businesses – community festivals have even been cancelled due to the extortionate insurance costs. The government has promised action but the pace is much too slow. Pearse Doherty has brought in legislation which would address a number of these issues and I want to help ensure this legislation is fully implemented.
Who will top the poll in the Louth/Meath East constituency?
That’s a hard question to answer! I don’t think too many candidates will be concerned with poll topping – all I want to do is to get over the line alongside Imelda Munster. If elected I will be in a better position to represent the people of Louth and it will take a lot of hard work to get there. Also, I’m a pretty bad guesser.