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Meet the candidates: Eoin Barry, Labour Party, Portarlington Graiguecullen - Sponsored

Express Reporter


Express Reporter



Meet the candidates: Catherine Fitzgerald, Fianna Fáil, Portlaoise Abbeyleix

Catherine Fitzgerald


Killeshin, Co Laois


Social Worker in Child and Adolescent Mental Health


Labour Party

Why have you decided to run in the local elections?

Through my work in mental health I see the struggles and difficulties that families are dealing with on a daily basis. In recent years many people have returned to work, but far too many have to commute and too many people are on low pay or in precarious employment. I believe that by working at a local government level I can advocate for improved housing and public amenities for people living in the county. I will push for inward investment and create an environment that encourages the growth of local businesses and the development of high-quality jobs.

Why should people vote for you?

In this campaign, I decided to adopt a poster free campaign. I took this stance as I believe we all need to change our attitude to plastic waste and we need to take immediate steps to protect our environment. I believe this showed voters that I would listen to their concerns and that I would stand up for what I believe in. 

I believe my work experience and training have given me a strong foundation to be an effective Councillor for County Laois. I have an in-depth understanding of community development through my experience as a youth worker in Graiguecullen and my training in Social Work. I worked as a project worker with the housing charity Focus Ireland and this has helped my to understand the housing crisis.

As a social worker I am used to dealing with peoples problems and if I am elected I will be approachable and follow up with issues in confidential and effective manner.

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

With no sitting councillor or TD in Killeshin or Graiguecullen, this side of the county has lack representation. This also true of other areas, in Killenard I met with residents who have been living under a “boil water notice” for four years. 

As the sole Labour candidate in the area, I seek to represent everyone and will work with people from all over the county.

I have campaigned for an end to illegal dumping, for Laois to become a pollinator county and for our biodiversity to be protected. I will work to promote Laois as a tourism destination and will advocate for community development and the development of public and sporting amenities throughout the county.