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02 Dec 2021

Meet the candidates: Deirdre O'Connell-Hopkins, Fianna Fáil, Portarlington Graiguecullen - Sponsored

Meet the candidates: Deirdre O'Connell-Hopkins, Fianna Fáil, Portarlington Graiguecullen,

Deirdre O'Connell-Hopkins

Address

Crann Nua, Portarlington

Occupation

Trade Union Organiser

Party

Fianna Fáil

Why have you decided to run in the local elections?

Historically, Portarlington and the surrounding area had no less than three Councillors when the population was 3/4,000 people. Portarlington is now the second largest town in Laois (over 10,000 people) and growing rapidly, yet inexplicably we have only one Councillor.

Why should people vote for you?

Because effective advocacy on behalf of and as a service to others is what I do daily as a Trade Union Organiser within the Public Sector areas of Health, Local Government, Community and Voluntary Agencies. We desperately need a second local Councillor in Portarlington with the skill set, energy, and determination to get the job done, if our shared community interests are to be adequately represented at local government level. A wise woman once said ‘There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about’. If elected, I pledge to proactively highlight and escalate those issues which are of critical immediate importance to the people of Portarlington and its surrounding hinterland.

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

Portarlington requires targeted IDA funded inward infrastructural investment to support employers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in growing the economy locally.

I am also acutely mindful of the crisis facing farming families in our District, including poor cattle factory returns, rural crime and the proposed reduced CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) budget 2020.I believe that any reduction in CAP funding would completely undermine the sustainability of our farming community. I also intend to fight to ensure provision is made for the restoration of a full time Garda operational presence in the town together with a New Secondary school.

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