John Dwyer eye­ing come­back with lo­cal elec­tion run

New Ross Standard - - FRONT PAGE - By DAVID LOOBY

FOR­MER Ei­rigi and Sinn Fein county coun­cil­lor John Dwyer has thrown his name in the hat in the up­com­ing lo­cal elec­tions.

The 2019 Ir­ish lo­cal elec­tions will be held on Fri­day, May 24, on the same day as the 2019 Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tion and Dwyer is aim­ing to re­claim his place in the County Hall cham­ber.

Dwyer has been in pol­i­tics since 1999 and has been in­volved in union ac­tiv­i­ties, prior to be­ing ap­proached by Sinn Fein.

‘I be­came in­volved with the party and then found out lo­cal politi­cians can ac­tu­ally help peo­ple. I hated at­tend­ing meet­ings and the ag­gres­sion that was as­so­ci­ated with meet­ings. I en­joyed ring­ing coun­cil of­fi­cials who could re­solve is­sues for peo­ple. Most (of­fi­cials) were ab­so­lute gen­tle­men once they saw there was a gen­uine need. I will prob­a­bly find the red tape as frus­trat­ing as be­fore if I’m elected. Coun­cil­lors across the coun­try have al­lowed lo­cal gov­ern­ment to be emas­cu­lated. That oc­curred be­cause lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives failed to de­fend their com­mu­ni­ties,’ he said.

Run­ning as an In­de­pen­dent again, Dwyer (55) said he sees an op­por­tu­nity to take a seat in the new look New Ross mu­nic­i­pal dis­trict, which will have six coun­cil­lors by the time the vot­ing is con­cluded, as op­posed to eight be­fore.

Dwyer was elim­i­nated on the fifth count with 1,362 votes in the 2016 Gen­eral Elec­tion, hav­ing pre­vi­ously lost his county coun­cil seat in 2014.

From Ryleen, just out­side New Ross, Dwyer amassed con­sid­er­able ex­pe­ri­ence rep­re­sent­ing con­stituents across the county as a town and county coun­cil­lor over three decades, and his phone con­tin­ued to ring with re­quests for his as­sis­tance even though he was no longer a coun­cil­lor.

He opened Ad­ven­ture Ca­noe Hire in 2014 but has been long­ing to get back into pol­i­tics for some time.

Dwyer be­lieves the abo­li­tion of town coun­cils has been to the detri­ment to towns like New Ross and was the worst de­ci­sion taken by any gov­ern­ment.

He is op­ti­mistic about the role the new by­pass will have on New Ross, but is con­cerned about the lack of jobs be­ing cre­ated in the town and across the dis­trict.

‘ The by­pass presents po­ten­tial huge prob­lems, but it also presents op­por­tu­ni­ties for New Ross. The busi­ness skills ex­ist in the town along with the will­ing­ness to in­vest. Peo­ple in busi­ness need lo­cal gov­ern­ment to roll in be­hind them; not to be ad­ver­sar­ial or to be con­stantly look­ing for money from them for this and that. We need to see the re-es­tab­lish­ment of the old town coun­cils be­cause that was the ba­sic unit of democ­racy in Ire­land if a trader had an is­sue with a lo­cal gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion so you had a re­sponse quickly from the di­rec­tor of ser­vices.’

He said re­tail can­not thrive in New Ross un­less there is a stronger em­ploy­ment base.

‘It was al­ways gov­ern­ment pol­icy to make Water­ford a hub area. The chal­lenge is to re­tain money made in New Ross in the town. Even be­fore the re­ces­sion peo­ple went for days away shop­ping in Water­ford, Wex­ford and Kilkenny and that is con­tin­u­ing to hap­pen. Like En­nis­cor­thy and Gorey, New Ross has been neg­a­tively af­fected by de­ci­sions made by of­fi­cials which were ul­ti­mately ac­cepted by elected mem­bers, but these de­ci­sions were of­ten not in the best in­ter­ests of the small re­tail busi­ness-owner in the town.’

Dwyer said ini­tia­tives like more free park­ing in New Ross in the run up to Christ­mas could help lo­cal busi­nesses.

He re­mains adamant that the town’s Kennedy con­nec­tion has been ‘done to death’.

‘I be­lieve we’re high­light­ing the Kennedy link al­most to our detri­ment as could be seen with the con­tro­versy over the nam­ing of the new bridge. Of course we should cel­e­brate our con­nec­tion with the Kennedy name but when you have 800 plus years of his­tory in­volv­ing the Vik­ings and the Nor­mans why not fo­cus on that rather than 50 years ago.’

Dwyer said he is ex­cited about run­ning in the lo­cal elec­tions, adding that he looks for­ward to rep­re­sent­ing work­ing class peo­ple in the area, if elected.

‘A lot of what I said prior to the re­ces­sion about peo­ple in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try need­ing train­ing has come to pass.’

John Dwyer ad­dress­ing a crowd in New Ross.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.