My Dundalk Life: ‘We never take life too serious and enjoy a good sneer’
Sean Kelly, originally from O’Hanlon Park in the town, is a local councillor for the area and is one of the organisers of the local ‘Darkness Into Light’ run
Tell us a bit about where you grew up in Dundalk?
I’m from O’Hanlon Park, lived there since I was born. It’s my Dad’s family home, my Mum is a McGivern from Fatima and I spent a large part of younger years there also.
I had a great childhood, it’s a great place to be from, there is a strong sense of community and everyone knows everyone and they are always there when you need them most.
What elements of Dundalk are you proud of most?
The People! There is simply nothing like Dundalk people anywhere in the country.
We may give out about the town or things that are happening but if an outsider says a bad word against us, we unite against them.
I also love when you are out of town and meet someone from home, you may walk past them at the Square, but when abroad everyone always stops, has a chat and makes sure everything is okay with you.
It’s that pride and sense of place amongst Dundalk people that is wonderful.
What would you like to change/improve?
I want the best for the town, no matter what it is, but if I had to focus on some specific areas I’d love to see more youth facilities for young people, more services and activities for our elderly so they know we value their contribution to the town and finally an even better sense of pride in our town when it comes to litter waste, the environment and how we showcase ourselves.
If we all play our part we can make a difference.
What are your thoughts on the Seek 2019 art festival?
Personally I think it’s brilliant, it’s making use of public spaces, it gives us something to admire when we are out and about in town and it’s an example of us showing we can do things differently.
How do you like to relax in town?
A visit to DKIT Sport pretending to go to the gym but actually sitting in the jacuzzi and steam room for an hour, a walk down the Navvy Bank in the early evening as the sun sets but mostly a pint of Harp in the Wee House listening to the locals.
Tell us about your favourite story about Dundalk, that you've heard?
Too many and the vast majority would never be printed!
But one stand out moment had to be President Clinton’s visit in December 2000 and how before he arrived they played Mambo No5 and everyone shouted the part ‘A little bit of Monica in my life’.
It shows we were proud of the visit but we would never take life too serious and enjoy a good sneer.
What memories stand out from your youth most?
Nearly choking on a piece of steak when I was 7 or 8 at the kitchen table, my Mum and eldest sister Denise panicked and came to my rescue while the middle sister reached over grabbing the rest of the steak from my plate saying I wouldn’t be finishing it now, for anyone who knows Louise they’ll know some things never change.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Get settled into the Council and start to work on my priorities of creating safer communities and getting a Positive Mental Health agenda in place, as I said when I was calling to the doors during election, I have no interest in being there just for the sake of it, I want to achieve real results for the town I love.