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With campaigning already underway for May 24th’s local elections, we’ve asked each of those running to answer five simple questions about where they’ve been, where they’re at, and where they hope to take us all.
Especially given that they’ve all agreed to keep our town and village centres free from campaign posters.
Day by day, each entry will be given the floor, unedited, to express their plans and hopes, their dreams and schemes.
And to keep it fair, we’re doing this alphabetically. So, next up is Gerry Walsh, the former Garda honcho turned long-standing Fianna Fail councillor…
Take it away, Gerry…
What inspired you to become involved in local politics? Was there a Road To District Council moment…?
I feel very honoured to have been given the opportunity to represent the Greystones Municipal District and thank former Councillor Kathleen Kelleher for her support in this – but in essence I was cajoled and talked into it! Thanks Kathleen!
Through my capacity as a local Garda Sergeant and as coach and Chairman of Eire Og GAA Club, I had seen and recognised the real needs of the wider Greystones community. I felt I could help.
Of your work so far, are there particular achievements that you are particularly proud of?
The list of achievements are many but the ones I cannot list are the ones I believe I was happiest undertaking. These are the personal issues that constituents have brought to my attention that I have been privileged to actually help, making a significant difference to their lives.
I could list many others but as an example I secured significant funding for improvement works in Killincarrig Village which are to be carried out later this year as well as new footpaths with public lighting at Killincarrig and Mill Lane.
I was also instrumental in getting a new speed indicator sign installed at the approach to Delgany National School which has significantly reduced the number of traffic incidents at the location.
Looking forward, what are the main goals that you would like to achieve over the coming years?
I will continue to strive for more social and affordable housing for the area to help meet the real and enormous demand of local people.
I will also continue my work with the NTA, Irish Rail and Dublin Bus to bring about improved public transport for commuters including designated bus lanes, prioritising bus travel with Park N Ride facilities as part of the N11 redesign proposals.
On the jobs front, as Chairperson of the Economic Development/ Enterprise Support Policy Committee for Wicklow, I will continue to work to bring much needed employment to the area, specifically engaging with both the IDA and Wicklow County Council to develop their Greystones site.
To turn a fine Mayor Quimby quote into a question, ask not what you can do for your county, but what you can do for Greystones…?
As an executive member of Wicklow County Tourism Board, I will continue to promote Wicklow and Greystones in particular, as an attractive destination and to develop a Coastal Greenway between Wicklow and Greystones to generate income and jobs in the area.
As a member of the Joint Policing Committee for Wicklow, I am part of a subcommittee tasked with the preparation of a local CCTV system, which would be operated by the Local Authority aimed making Greystones a safer environment.
I have also been influential in the development of road infrastructure projects, some of which are at design stage and I have helped deliver much needed additional community facilities for the area.
If being a politician doesn’t work out, have you got a Career B in mind? Dancer? Magician? Traffic warden…?
As Dr Seuss once said – ‘When he worked, he really worked. But when he played, he really PLAYED.’
I have had my career as a Garda and a player, coach and as Chairman in Eire Og and as a Councillor it has allowed me to continue some of the community work I have been associated with over those previous years. Whether as a representative of the Greystones Municipal District or not, I will continue to work in the Community as long as my health allows me.
You can find out more about Cllr Gerry Walsh on the Fianna Fáil website here, or you can contact him directly on email@example.com or 0858639848.