Cill Dara Shinn Féin Poblachtach

Local Election Update

REPUBLICAN Sinn Féin candidates in the local elections on June 5 reported a positive response on the doorsteps to their canvass. “People are fed up with the antics of the present administration which has reduced the country to the point of bankruptcy” according to the candidates, “not to mention all the scandals over the years”.

Unemployment, the collapse of the building industry, cutbacks in health, education and welfare and lack of facilities for young and old are on the agenda of all the local candidates. The misery and destruction to families from drug misuse is also a huge issue, and affects every area in the country and people from all walks of life.

An issue of concern to Paddy Kenneally in Clare is the practice of Clare County Council in awarding building contracts to the lowest bidder. On May 12 Paddy said that “some tradesmen have not been paid for two months on a site in Milltown Malbay.

“The Council awarded the contract for Council housing to a builder who had no track record in the county and now we find that he is under paying trade union men on the site.

”We now have the case where men are being underpaid and in fact not being paid so it is time to review the entire tendering process within Clare County Council and ensure that this type of activity does not happen again.”

Paddy, as the secretary of the Clare Plasterers Union is acutely aware of the domino effect resulting from the fallout of the collapse of the building industry. The provision of playgrounds and facilities for children and youths is on his agenda as is the lack of public toilets/washrooms, fishing piers and car parks for tourists in towns and villages in Clare.

Des Dalton canvassing with Republican Sinn Féin President Ruairí Ó Brádaigh on May 8, said that: “Now more than ever strong and principled local political leadership is needed in Athy. People are struggling to protect their jobs, and in many cases their homes. As a trade union Shop Steward and Vice President of the Athy Branch of SIPTU, I am dealing everyday with the consequences of the collapse of the economy for ordinary people. Today over 2,000 people are now signing on the live register in Athy.”

The provision of affordable and social housing, the establishment of a community forum and facilities for the youth are just a few of the issues that concern Des.

Pat Barry, standing in Bundoran, Co Donegal for the first time is canvassing on local issues such unemployment in the area and the effect of the sterling on the euro at the moment and the effect it has not just on tourism but also on tendering on what little trade there is in the building industry. The cut-backs on health and education services are an issue for him as is the retention of caner services in Sligo general hospital.

The plight of local fishermen and small farmers is high on the list of Tomás Ó Curraoin’s priorities, as is local once-off housing. Tomás is no stranger to the effects that big business/multinationals have on the local economy.

Seán Lynch from Longford is campaigning for the farmers in Longford and is concerned about the lack of facilities for those with special needs; public lighting and improvement of the infrastructure.

In Kells Co Meath, Peter Fitzsimons is campaigning on a range of local issues among them better infrastructure and transport. He is also promoting a suicide awareness campaign.

Two candidates are contesting Limerick city and one in Broadford, Co Limerick. Seán O’Neill and Mick Ryan are well known in Limerick (contesting the south and north wards respectively) for their community and trade union activism over the years. Both men know that the current elected politicians have failed to address the serious problem in Limerick and that Limerick is “fast becoming a two-tier society with the ordinary people having to pay for the abuses of the wealthy”. The regeneration of Limerick and anti-social behaviour are just two areas that need to be tackled they say.

They have promised to be “accountable to the people of Limerick” if elected. The two city candidates reached a decision not to erect election posters on environmental and visual grounds.

Seámus Ó Suilleabháin, in Broadford is campaigning on a range of issues including the retention of the local post offices in the country areas. Improved social housing and the retention of St Ita’s Hospital are also serious issues for the locality. Seámus is a local historian and contributes to local radio on a regular basis, he hosts a history programme once a week.

On a national level the candidates are promoting ÉIRE NUA and SAOL NUA, the policies of Republican Sinn Féin for a new Ireland based on federal structures. Copies of the national manifesto can be had on request from head office.

from: Irish Republican Information Service No. 197

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