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Eclectic Mix Of Candidates Standing For Local Elections


Eclectic Mix Of Candidates Standing For Local Elections

By: Aidan Crowley – In this article, Aidan Crowley presents the policies and platforms of all the local eleciton candidates for the South West Inner City and Ballyfermot – Drimagh Constituencies

With the local and European elections taking place this Friday (7th June), an eclectic mix of candidates will be standing for Dublin City Council (DCC) in both the South-West Inner City and Ballyfermot-Drimnagh constituencies. With this in mind, the Fountain Resource Group – Dublin 8 Newswire profiles the candidates, some of whom will represent these constituencies for the next five years:

(1) Ammar Ali is a Fianna Fail candidate for the South-West Inner City constituency:

Ammar Ali was recently appointed as a Fianna Fail Local Area Representative for Dublin’s South-West Inner City. He was appointed a Peace Commissioner in 2019 and studied Pharmaceutical Science at TU Dublin (Tallaght). He is currently studying Law at Griffith College and is committed to working for the people of this constituency on a range of local issues.

(2) David Augusta is a Sinn Fein candidate for the South-West Inner City constituency:

Originally from Crumlin, David Augusta became an Irish emigrant to London, where he worked with young students and homeless people for seventeen years. He returned to Dublin in 2007, where, as a qualified counsellor, he now works in a high support unit for young people presenting with severe mental health problems. David’s work and life have helped him to appreciate how the issues around poverty, disadvantage, mental health and homelessness are interlinked.

He has always valued working for and advocating on behalf of the more disadvantaged members of the community and for the community at large. He is committed to improving local services, tackling the housing crisis and making our communities safer, more welcoming places to live and work in. David is married with three children.

(3) Aisling Considine is an Aontu candidate for the South-West Inner City constituency:

Aisling Considine is a primary school teacher and a mother of one. For the past five years, she has been very involved in grassroots politics with women’s rights groups. She is very active in her trade union, the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) and is also a trained volunteer with national youth organization, Foroige.

She is a passionate Gaeilgeoir – “Tir gan teanga, tir gan anam”. Aisling decided to run for election to DCC, while contemplating the performances of the current Government and opposition parties, who she reckons are more concerned with virtue signaling and appealing to Europe, rather than with representing their own people with common sense in everyday issues.

As a resident of the South-West Inner City, Aisling shares the concerns of many at the range of issues facing people in the area, from the rise in open drug use and young people turning to crime, to the lack of a Garda presence on our streets. It has been twelve years and the wait goes on for two green spaces to be developed at Marrowbone Lane and St. Teresa’s Gardens. The completion of these projects is now a primary focus and an election priority for Aisling.

(4) Jen Cummins is a Social Democrats candidate for the South-West Inner City constituency:

Jen Cummins has lived in the Liberties area of Dublin 8 for more than twenty years with her husband and four children. She has spent al of her career working with young at-risk people and their families, supporting them to reach their full potential.

She was on the Board of Educate Together for eight years, the last five as Chairperson and has sat on many boards of management, as well as company and charity boards. She is a lecturer in Ethical Education at DCU and is currently completing a Doctorate of Education. She is passionate about all areas of education and has spent much of her life working for an education system that is inclusive and accessible to young people and children and appropriate to their needs. She is an advocate for free education from early childhood schooling all the way through to third level.

Jen’s main priorities are as follows:

(A) Investment in public services and amenities, including community centres and play areas.

(B) Real choice for parents in education and a system which is inclusive.

(C) Proper funding to support our young people, particularly in the area of mental health.

(D) Free and accessible healthcare and education which is the norm in social democratic countries.

(E) Free high-quality childcare and after school provision.

(F) Psychological support services provided in a timely manner and available nationwide.

(G) Investment in sports and leisure activities for all members of the community.

(5) Kelsey May Daly is a People Before Profit-Solidarity candidate for the South-West Inner City constituency:

Kelsey May Daly has been selected by her party to be co-opted to replace Tina MacVeigh on DCC for this constituency. Kelsey is originally from the area and so has an excellent insight into the issues and concerns facing local residents.

Her main priorities, if elected, include the repair and regeneration of existing public housing; building of new public housing on public land; properly functioning local services; establishment of more green spaces, sporting facilities, community and cultural facilities; improving public transport and the restoration of the Iveagh Markets. Kelsey says that she will be amplifying the voices of the local community and carrying on the good work of her predecessor.

(6) Maire Devine is a Sinn Fein candidate for the South-West Inner City constituency:

Maire Devine is originally from the Liberties area of Dublin 8 and now lives in Kilmainham. Maire works as a senior psychiatric nurse and has been Councillor or Senator since 2011. She is an advocate for the more vulnerable members of the local community and is currently campaigning for a Well-Being Quarter for the Dublin 8 area. She is a member of two local Drug & Alcohol Taskforces, St. James’s Hospital Board and the Children’s Hospital Residents Forum.

She is an active member of four regeneration boards (Emmet Road, Oliver Bond, Donore Avenue and Dolphin House). She is also on DCC’s Housing Committee where she is an advocate for cost-rental, social and affordable housing. Maire is also on the Board of Kilmainham Gaol and a campaigner for the restoration of the Iveagh Markets, Kilmainham Mill and Inchicore Public Library.

(7) Damien Farrell is an Independent candidate for the South-West Inner City constituency:

Damien Farrell is a long-time local community activist in this constituency and a housing and community representative. Damien’s main priorities, if elected, include the provision of affordable social housing, the regeneration of some of the older blocks of DCC flats and tackling the spiraling homelessness  problem.

(8) Catherine McSweeney is an Independent candidate for the South-West Inner City constituency:

Catherine McSweeney has lived on Donore Avenue, South Circular Road, for the last thirty years and has always been involved in her local community. She has been involved in teaching cookery classes to youth groups, children and young mothers in The Small Club, Donore Avenue and The Mercy Family Centre. She has also been involved in voluntary work with local Primary and Secondary School Parents Associations.

Catherine’s main priorities, if elected, include representing local residents’ interests in The Tenters, Donore Avenue, Margaret Kennedy Road and environs, Rehoboth and South Circular Road, regarding a major building development; ensuring that Donore Youth & Community Centre is back in use for the local community as soon as possible; strongly supporting and working towards providing playing pitches and facilities on the St. Teresa’s Gardens and Marrowbone Lane sites; providing new play equipment for children in Weaver Square Park; providing more indoor and outdoor recreational spaces for children, young people and all age groups; making the area a nicer place to live with more greening, tree and flower planting.

(9) Darragh Moriarty is a Labour Party candidate for the South-West Inner City constituency:

Darragh Moriarty has been representing the people of this constituency on DCC since May 2020. He was co-opted to take over the seat vacated by Senator Rebecca Moynihan. He is from Dublin 8 and has lived on Dolphin’s Barn Street all his life.

Outside of politics, he has worked in communications and policy research for a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) think tank, focused on European and international affairs since 2016. He went to school, locally, at Synge Street CBS and then went on to study at UCD.

Darragh’s main priorities, if re-elected, include the provision of affordable housing, both cost-rental and public; the over-concentration of hotels and student accommodation in the Dublin 8 catchment area; the supporting of sustainable communities , with a view to moving away from cars and onto public transport and bicycles; the establishment of more green spaces and sports facilities in this constituency.

(10) Ian Nunoo is a Fine Gael candidate for the South-West Inner City constituency:

Ian Nunoo moved to Ireland ten years ago from the UK and now lives and works in Dublin 8. He has a background in digital marketing and web development and is currently the Digital Director with Javelin. He has also worked out of the Digital Hub in Thomas Street and has seen first-hand what a vibrant place Dublin 8 is to live and work. He wants to provide a strong voice on DCC for Dublin 8, particularly, more supports for local businesses, youth services, green spaces and community facilities.

Ian’s main priorities, if elected, include safer community and public spaces in Dublin 8; more community policing and reduction of anti-social behaviour; supports for local businesses and youth services; safeguards for renters and those people living in apartments.

(11) Michael O’Flanagan is an Independent candidate for the South-West Inner City constituency:

Michael O’ Flanaganis a local community activist who has lived on Emmet Road, Inchicore, for more than fifty years. He is standing in this constituency as a single issue candidate. The single issue that Michael is focusing on, is the saving of the Inchicore Public Library building on Emmet Road for the residents and community groups of the immediate area. The iconic building has, sadly, fallen into a state of disrepair since its closure in March 2020.

Michael set-up the Inchicore Library Advisory Group on 10th June 2022 and since that time, he and the other members of this group have engaged in constant communication, applying pressure on DCC to repair and re-open this building for the benefit of the local community. The City Manager has given certain commitments to this group, with a view to providing funds to repair the building and provide access to all the local community groups who wish to use the facility and a promise that restoration work will commence by the end of this year.

(12) Zoe Obeimhen is an Independent candidate for the South-West Inner City constituency:

Zoe Obeimhen is a local community activist and a mother of four. Zoe has been heavily involved in local campaigns for a number of years.

Her main priorities, if elected, include equal access to sports facilities for the Liberties area; the retention of sports pitches in the Inchicore area; the restoration of the Inchicore Public Library building; urging the ESB to paint public lighting poles in the Inchicore area; the provision of a full-sized sports pitch at Marrowbone Lane in the Liberties; the establishment of a new ministerial post, Minister for Women & Equalities.

(13) Michael Pidgeon is a Green Party candidate for the South-West Inner City constituency:

Michael Pidgeon has been a member of DCC since May 2019 and has been active in the Green Party since 2006. He also leads the nine Green Party Councillors on DCC and gave up his day job in 2021, to become a full-time Councillor.

Michael lives in Inchicore, having grown up in Dublin and also having lived in London, Brussels and Hanoi. His previous jobs include working for the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan on the economy and environment press desk; the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, as Head of Communications; Ciaran Cuffe, then Minister for Sustainable Transport and Planning; Friends of the Earth, campaigning for a clean, cheap, renewable energy system.; the UK’s Trades Union Congress (TUC), fighting for a better deal for low-paid workers.

(14) Darragh Reid is a Sinn Fein candidate for the South-West Inner City constituency:

Darragh Reid was born in the Coombe, was raised in Co. Offaly and then returned to Dublin 8 on 2014. He studied Law, eventually qualifying as a Barrister. He is very passionate about the Liberties, having many family ties. He is working to assist the local community, to make it the safest, most welcoming place possible, while reflecting the area’s rich heritage.

Darragh has been active with various local groups for many years. He is a member of several voluntary boards in the South-West Inner City, including the South Inner City Community Association and the Dublin City Community Council Co-Op. He has a keen interest in helping all within the local community and promoting community spirit. He has been involved in local community projects, including the Liberties Festival, World Clean-Up Days and other local activities.

(15) Ray Cunningham is a Green Party candidate for the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh constituency:

Ray Cunningham has lived in Walkinstown for the last twenty years and works as a technical writer. In his spare time, he is a runner, an athletics coach and a Parkrun volunteer.

Ray’s main priorities, if elected will include the provision of more parks and green spaces in the local community; the planting of more native trees and wildflowers; the provision of more communal benches and bins; the establishment of community energy programmes; the improvement of public transport and cycling facilities to tackle traffic congestion; the building of more good quality, cost-rental and affordable housing in the local area.

(16) Patrick Dempsey is a Labour Party candidate for the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh constituency:

Patrick Dempsey is a Youth Justice Worker based in Ballyfermot. Previously, he worked for two years in the School Completion Programme in two of the local schools in Ballyfermot. He has also worked for Merchant’s Quay Ireland and as an Equality Co-ordinator for the European Students Union.

Patrick’s main priorities, if elected, include the provision of more social and affordable homes, reduced waiting lists and an end to dereliction; climate action, the introduction of better transport and cycle lanes; waste collection returned to DCC operation; safer communities, with better services and community policing.

Patrick Dingle

(17) Paddy Dingle is a Fine Gael candidate for the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh constituency:

Paddy Dingle was born and raised in Drimnagh. Attending school at Our Lady of Mercy and Drimnagh Castle CBS. Growing up, he was involved in many community activities at Good Counsel GAA Club, St. John Bosco Youth Centre and the Lar Redmond Centre. In particular, he excelled as an international amateur boxing coach in Drimnagh Boxing Club. He works in St. James’s Hospital and was a SIPTU representative for the General Support Services and later represented the staff on the Board of St. James’s Hospital for five years.

In 2021, he joined Dynamic Drimnagh, seeking better facilities for Drimnagh and the development of the Drimnagh 2030 Plan, submitted to Dublin City Council Plan 2023-2028. In October 2021, he founded the High Five Boxing Academy for children with additional needs which was launched in Drimnagh Boxing Club. This endeavor led to Euros 6.5 million for additional needs sports programmes.

Paddy’s main priorities, if elected, include a Primary Care Centre and a Civic Centre for the growing community in Drimnagh; the City Edge and BusConnects plans will have a major impact on residents in Crumlin, Walkinstown, Ballyfermot and Bluebell, so residents need to be aware of the benefits and imlications of these plans; improving disability services and mental health services for the local community.

(18) Daithi Doolan is a Sinn Fein candidate for the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh constituency:

Daithi Doolan was first elected to DCC in 2004 and is a member of a number of committees on the City Council. These include the Housing Strategic Policy Committee, the Local Joint Policing Committee and the Citywide Joint Policing Committee. He is also the Chair of the Council’s Local Community Development Committee, a multi-agency committee responsible for developing and implementing a community development and economic development plan for the city.

In addition to his work on DCC, he is a member of the Ballyfermot Local Drugs Task Force. He is also the Sinn Fein representative on the Right 2 Water committee and he is on the board of the local community centre in Drimnagh. Daithi’s main priorities, if re-elected, include helping to create a sustainable community that is active and that makes decisions to improve the quality of life for all families in the local area.

(19) Vincent Jackson is an Independent candidate for the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh constituency:

Vincent Jackson has served as an Independent Councillor on DCC since May 1991. He also served as Lord Mayor of Dublin from June 2006 to June 2007. Originally a carpenter by profession, he became involved in a variety of community and youth projects in the Ballyfermot area and now serves as both a public representative and youth worker on the City Council. He was re-elected to DCC at the 1999, 2004 and 2009 local elections.

Vincent has a long history of involvement in local community groups, including as Education Officer CYC/Crosscare Clondalkin from 1996 to 2016, Manager of Ballyfermot Sports Complex and Vice Chairperson of CDETB.

(20) Niamh Mongey is a Social Democrats candidate for the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh constituency:

Niamh Mongey has lived in this constituency for nearly ten years and is raising her young family in the local area. Through her communications and public relations work in the arts, culture and non-profit sector, she sees the value of what the right resources and supports can bring to a community. She is an advocate for providing affordable housing, investing in community amenities and developing public spaces.

Niamh’s main priorities, if elected include fighting for the provision of affordable housing; making local streets clean, safe and accessible; making public transport effective and affordable; involving local residents in the regeneration of their area.

(21) Richard Murray is an Independent candidate for the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh constituency:

Richard Murray lives in Ballyfermot and is currently studying Law at UCD. He has been a community activist for a number of years, involved with issues such as saving Cherry Orchard Nursing Home.

Richard’s main priorities, if elected, include ensuring that DCC re-assess planning applications to favour housing that is accessible and affordable; seeking investment in redeveloping the pitch and putt grounds on Slievebloom Road to a park with a children’s play ground and a dog run; having council land on Davittt Road utilized to build a sports and recreation centre with a swimming pool; securing the commencement of building works on the planned Primary Care Centre and Public Library in Drimnagh; ensuring the repair and ongoing maintenance of footpaths and roads throughout the constituency and the removal of weeds; having removed bins and dog foul bins re-installed across the constituency; requesting the fair allocation of the council’s Euros 1.34 billion budget to youth, sports and community groups in the local area; requesting increased policing and more focus on community policing initiatives; having measures implemented across the constituency to reduce the impact of illegal scramblers and quads; calling for the reversal of the NTA plan to dispense with the Ballyfermot roundabout and plans to convert Ballyfermot Road into a one-way traffic system; petitioning for a local regular bus to link the lower and upper ends of Ballyfermot to the main road.

(22) Sophie Nicoullaud is a Right To Change candidate for the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh constituency:

Sophie Nicoullaud is French, has lived all over Dublin City for twelve years and is the mother of two children in primary school.

Sophie’s main priorities, if re-elected, include working with her colleague, Joan Collins TD, to bring refuse collection back into public ownership, as a founding member of the remunicipalisation of waste group on DCC; using her membership of CATU Tenant’s Union and working with tenants at Davitt House in Drimnagh to secure attic insulation and the replacement of windows and doors; taking an ongoing High Court case with the Bluebell community to protect vital green spaces and to prevent a telecom mast being erected on a public green; continuing as a committee member of the Dublin 12 Community Safety Forum with a strong voice for Drimnagh and Walkinstown; using her committee membership of the Inchicore Regeneration Community Forum, demanding the full retention of public land and bringing a council motion demanding more family-sized units; using her Masters in Town Planning to work with communities, demanding that the needs of existing residents are met from new developments; campaigning with the local community to save bus routes in Bluebell and Inchicore with the Connecting Communities Action Group; securing traffic flow improvements in Chapelizod, Drimnagh and Walkinstown.

(23) Hazel de Nortuin  is a People Before Profit-Solidarity candidate for the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh constituency:

Hazel de Nortuin lives in Ballyfermot and has been involved with local community politics and activism for a number of years. Originally from Cherry Orchard, she has been actively involved getting supports for people in what is often termed “disadvantaged areas” of the city.

Hazel’s main priorities, if re-elected, include tackling the housing crisis in this constituency by utilising vacant social houses to house people on the housing waiting list; funding of local services to make the local area sustainable socially, economically and environmentally; retaining the existing green spaces and parks and creating more of them for the local community.

(24) Daithi de Roiste is a Fianna Fail candidate for the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh constituency:

Daithi de Roiste was born and raised in Ballyfermot. He was first elected to DCC in 2014 at the age of twenty-six and was subsequently re-elected in 2019. He is a member of DCC Strategic Policy Committees (SPC’s) on Finance and Planning and is also a member of the Citywide Joint Policing Committee since 2014. In addition, he is a member of the budget consultative group of the City Council. He was elected as the 355th Lord Mayor of Dublin at the DCC AGM, held on 26th June 2023.

Daithi has worked in marketing and communications for over a decade and holds a BA in History from UCD and an MA in Public Affairs from TU Dublin. He has been actively involved in his community since he was a teenager, leading young first aid groups, supporting Irish language youth clubs and GAA clubs, serving on the board of a local primary school and campaigning on local issues such as suicide prevention. He is the Honourary President of Ballyfermot United FC.

(25) Ronda Sheldreck is an Independent candidate for the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh constituency:

Ronda Sheldreck is a local activist, who has been campaigning on a number of local issues, particularly housing, for a number of years.

Ronda’s main priorities, if elected, include recognising the scale of the housing crisis; ensuring inclusive housing policies within the community; increasing the supply and volume of housing stock; meeting all social housing targets; ensuring affordability and rent control; enabling accessible community integration policies; ensuring community support services; maintaining education and awareness.

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