Welcome and thank you for taking the time to read about me.
Hopefully, you will continue to check in to keep informed of my work on behalf of the people who elected me. I would encourage you all to follow me on Twitter, or Facebook to make it easier to stay in touch. I hope the following gives you a snapshot of my career and the challenges and triumphs along the way.
- Delivery Major Footpath Renewal Programme.
- Ensure Douglas Land Use and Transporation Strategy is implemented.
- One Stop Shop Health Centre for Douglas.
- New Playgrounds for Rochestown and Grange/Frankfield.
- Delivery of N28 upgrade.
- Promote Council’s Aim to make Cork an age friendly County by provision of suitable services/facilities.
- Ensure Local Government Reform is implemented.
Originally a native of Michelstown (nee Finn) where I attended the local schools and subsequently joined Aer Lingus (briefly) and then Bank of Ireland having served in Midleton, Listowel, Tralee and finally Cork. I retain many great memories of the people and colleagues I met along the way. Eventually home was in Passage West and for the last 35 years in Douglas. My family have now scattered and left home.
Having always been interested in current affairs I began political life more as a social interest/canvassing/community work background. When the opportunity arose to contest the Local Elections for Fianna Fail in 1999, I did so in a very positive frame of mind. Thankfully I was elected for two terms and became a full time councillor. Unfortunately, by then it was clear to me that my values had clashed with those espoused by the party leadership and hierarchy at that time. After much contemplation I resigned my seat and joined the Fine Gael party at their invitation. Though I was sad to leave some of my colleagues in Fianna Fail and still retain great friendships from that time, I felt the Fine Gael party under Enda Kenny would be a ‘safe pair of hands’ to lead this country and its’ people to an Ireland where the people are listened to and valued. I do believe that Fine Gael has the correct overall vision at this time to lead us out of a time which can only be described as an insult to the honest, hardworking men and women who built this country on hard work for family, community and country.
What happened in 2008 when our banking institutions collapsed, resulting in many people suffering and who are still suffering, must never again be allowed to happen. I, as a local councillor have witnessed at first hand tragic circumstances from which not one of us is immune. While we move out of the debacle, albeit slowly, it will take time to rebuild the fabric of our society economically and socially. Very difficult decisions have had to be taken to keep our beautiful country and county afloat. The government must continue to listen and identify a vision for our county and country based on what our women, men and young people are telling us. No government and least of all Fine Gael wants to reduce the standard of living and stymie business but first ‘the ship has to be steadied and kept afloat’. It seems we have turned the corner with the ‘Troika’ given their P45 in December and the Government deserves credit for that.
In addition, despite what some commentators lead us to believe it has proven to be more prudent for us not ‘to bite the hand that feeds us.’ While I, myself, have been vocal and critical at party level when I have felt the need, nonetheless, I believe the country is slowly recovering. Yes, mistakes have been made but not of the catastrophic level that has gone before. Should these mistakes be tolerated? No. We, as a government either at local or national level have to try harder to attain a high standard. People want to see those responsible for our ills brought to book. People want a chance to work and take care of their families. People want to see a greater difference between the old style of government (if one could properly call it that) and a new style of governance.
Up to now the spotlight has been at a national level and while the government must not take their eye of the ball strategically, naturally enough, the focus will now be on the forthcoming local elections in May. Local Government Reform has resulted in our ‘Carrigaline constituency’ change from a 6 seater to a 10 seater called Ballincollig/Carrigaline. This will hopefully see a greater participation amongst people and see the new Municipal Districts emerge. While the details haven’t been finalised, longterm, it will change how we run our affairs at local level.
I believe my experience over the last 15 years can be of use while these changes are becoming bedded in. I am delighted to say that I have been selected at convention and will once again contest the local elections for Fine Gael. I take nothing for granted. My team and I are ready to go. I love interacting with people and thankfully have tons of energy to work to tackle the task ahead. I do hope that when my record is examined that I will not be found wanting. I have truly been blessed with this job of representing the people locally without fear or favour. I would dearly love to have the opportunity to remain as councillor for the area. Time will tell. Until then hopefully I will meet you on my rounds and look forward to listening and continue ‘getting things done’.
Thank you. Deirdre.