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Meet the candidates: Mary Sweeney, Fine Gael, Portlaoise Abbeyleix - Sponsored

Express Reporter

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Meet the candidates: Mary Sweeney, Fine Gael, Portlaoise Abbeyleix

Mary Sweeney

Address

Ballyroan

Occupation

County Councillor (retired Librarian)

Party

Fine Gael

Why have you decided to run in the Local Elections?

This is my fifth time to contest the local elections. I have been a County Councillor since 1999. It all starts with community for me at a local level. I have really enjoyed my career in politics to date helping people on issues that directly affect and impact them. I think it’s important, especially as a female candidate, to put myself forward for election so I can make that difference. I would also hope that, by putting myself forward, I encourage other people to engage actively in politics.

Why should people vote for you?

I have a proven track record of delivery for the people of the Portlaoise electoral area for 20 years. I have advocated strongly on issues such as education (as a current board member of Laois/Offaly ETB), for the provision of a new library in Portlaoise, for additional housing and for sustainable rent levels. I am conscious of the importance of rural areas like the village I am from (Ballyroan) to ensure we have vibrant and active communities with excellent infrastructure like schools and sports grounds and community facilities. I have also strongly lobbied Minister Harris on the retention and addition of health services at Portlaoise Hospital.

What do you think is lacking in your area and what will you be campaigning for?

Portlaoise and the surrounding areas have grown at a rapid pace in recent years and it’s imperative that the Councillors in the next County Council work together to ensure there are adequate services and facilities to serve our people. As I have always done, I will be focusing on increased funding and services for areas such as health, roads, education, housing and community/cultural facilities.