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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 Nicola Lawless, Sinn Féin councillor and Greystones Municipal District Cathaoirleach.
Take it away, Nicola…
What inspired you to become involved in local politics? Was there a Road To District Council moment…?
I have worked in the community for years and have always enjoyed it. I was never involved with anything political before; like many I would spend my time giving out on Facebook about the government, so, I decided to be pro-active and try and get out and make change the best way I could. Putting myself forward was the biggest thing I have done but I love it as I feel I’m helping people and giving something back to the community I live in.
Of your work so far, are there particular achievements that you are particularly proud of?
Well, my first project was to get the yellow box and the junction at Donnybrook Fair sorted, as I had promised my neighbours in Grattan Park and Kindlestown, and I achieved this. From there, I secured funding for tree maintenance which sorted dangerous and old trees over-hanging in Grattan Park, Delgany and Newcastle; I got the flooding and roads sorted on the Old Downs road, Willow Grove, which has been a huge problem for many years; Seamount Drive, Newcastle, new road and footpaths, as it had been over 20 years since they where done. But the biggest part of my work which you can’t put in a press statement is helping families and individuals with housing and people at risk of being homeless. It’s the biggest part of my work and the most difficult. I have plenty of others as well, like campaigning for the GP out of hours services for North Wicklow, and getting the Minister to increase nursing places at PLC level, which happened, to name but a few.
Looking forward, what are the main goals that you would like to achieve over the coming years?
I have a project I m working on and that’s to get a proper camper van site for Greystones, with good facilities, and this will help encourage tourists. I m also looking at extending the DART to Kilcoole – this is a long-term goal and I have had meetings with the NTA and Irish Rail, and will continue to engage with them, but public transport is key. As well to try and reduce our cars on the roads, and this will also help with our environmental issues, which I am very aware of and concerned about, and making changes where we can to help will be key for me going forward.
Of course, housing, I will continue to push for social and affordable housing. Electric Car Charging points for the District is another issue I have been working on, and with €20m funding given to ESB, I will Be fighting very hard to ensure we get out charging points.
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…?
What can I do for Greystones? Well, I will continue to a strong reasonable voice for the people at local and county level. I will endeavour to do what is best for the District, and I will ensure that Greystones, Delgany, Kilcoole, Newcastle and Killadreenan are not left behind, and that they get proper transport services, housing, schools, and any other facilities. I will fight their corner as their public representative.
If being a politician doesn’t work out, have you got a Career B in mind? Dancer? Magician? Traffic warden…?
Yes, I have a plan B. I will continue my work in the community regardless, on a voluntary basis, and I would go into Human Resources.
You can follow Cllr Nicola Lawless on Facebook here, or you can contact her directly on 0861607686 or email@example.com. There will be a chance to meet all the local candidates at Greystones Tennis Club on Tuesday May 7th, at 7pm.