Sinn Féin Poblachtach to field two candidates in 26-County local elections

Tómas Ó Curraoin, from Bearna has been involved in Republican politics for many years. He has been elected to Galway County Council at the last two council elections. It is Diarmuid’s first campaign.

Both candidates arecommitted to public service and they represent people who have real politics and a vision of a New Ireland. The forthcoming 26-County local elections present an opportunity for people to send a message to the political elite of the 26-County State that they want a New Ireland, one that reflects the ideals and values of the 1916 Proclamation and not the interests of the EU bankers and bondholders.

Tomás Ó Curraoin and Diarmuid Mac Dubhghlais are deserving of the support and trust of all who share those ideals and we call on the electorate to VOTE NO 1 on May 24 for Tomás and Diarmuid.

Tomás Ó Curraoin stands for councillors at local level being able to make decisions themselves; for community development; improvement of the roads; facilities for the elderly and the youth; recycling; for jobs; for small farming and for fishing; broadband; the upkeep of cemeteries; bus services and shelters; usable water and our Irish language heritage.

On March 31 Diarmuid issued his manifesto, stating his priorities for his local area:

Increase the supply of social and affordable homes.

The State and various councils are sitting on many boarded-up houses. These could and should be brought up to standard in a short time.

2. Make renting a home in the city more affordable.

Part of the high rent issue is caused by the lack of council/affordable houses, compounded by what seems to be a block on State funding for new social housing. So bringing the existing stock up to standard can start a move towards stabilising rental prices.

The selling of distressed mortgages at discounted prices must be halted. All banks should offer the same discount to the home owner before it is offered to any other group with housing organisations being offered them before any vulture fund.

3. Reduce homelessness.

The positive moves from 1 and 2 above would be a good beginning to reduce the numbers of homeless, proper funding to the likes of Peter McVerry trust, Icare Housing and Clúid would be another way.

4. Reduce the number of derelict and vacant properties and sites.

Again, I have dealt with part of this above, there are also a number of private dwellings let go to ruin for a number of reasons, owners or relatives should be contacted to see how best bring these into use.

5. Improve public transport.

Public transport has been underfunded for far too long, we now have the better-off routes in cities being given to private companies. These companies have one purpose – to make profits for shareholders/owners. If these routes become unprofitable, private companies will cease the route. I would move towards rolling back on the privatisation of public transport routes. I would look to improve access for people with disabilities, I am aware that some Bus Éireann routes have no wheelchair access.

6. Improve cycling infrastructure.

The obvious answer is for more cycling lanes and better advertisement of the Cycle To Work Scheme. Alongside this, there needs to be proper investment in our roads, which are still littered with pot-holes and a mandatory co-ordination of road works.

With better public transport there would be less cars on the roads thus freeing up the space for cycle lanes.

7. Address climate change.

Regarding poster litter, I will not be using Corriboard as I have been told they are not recyclable.

I have seen and promoted local children and schools involved in planting saplings in one of our local parks through Easy Treesie (easytreesie.com). This initiative gives our younger generation hands-on experience in working towards a better environment and will hopefully give them pride in it. I would also work towards the ending of the unnecessary felling of mature trees in our parks and universities, indeed all across our country.

I have seen in some countries (Germany, Lidl) vending machines where plastic bottles and metal cans can be inserted and vouchers issued for shopping, this can and should be brought in here.

I would look for the return of it being mandatory for drinks companies to get involved in a deposit/return scheme.

8. Tackle litter, illegal dumping and dog poo on the streets.

This State has haphazard attitude to illegal commercial dumping, with fines being miniscule. Companies see it as worth the risk to dump illegally and if caught the State will clean the mess and issue a small fine, this has to be tackled, with the fines way outweighing any cost savings of disposing illegally.

9. Increase the number of parks and green spaces.

My constituency has a lot of green space, but most are under-utilised. It is not enough to have a green field (space) with a few trees here and there. We need them to become amenities by installing small playgrounds or an outdoor gym. This will have several beneficial aspects including bringing members of the community together as their children/grand children play and getting our younger children away from antisocial behaviour. Any new housing developments should have to have a playground as part of its planning, with this amenity completed to proper standard before any house is occupied.

10. Increase the number of public spaces in the city, protect them from privatisation, and make them nicer places to be. I will look to have all green space and parks protected by council ordinance or legislation for protection against development, likewise I will work towards the ending of the sale of council land to private developers irrespective of promises for social housing as far too often developers can circumvent such


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