Clare Claffey launches local election campaign

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john.ocallaghan

A Banagher native launched her campaign for the 2019 Local Elections in Birr recently.

Running as a candidate for the Social Democrats in the Birr Electoral area, Clare Claffey will focus on local issues including healthcare, affordable housing, local economic and social development.

The Social Democrats were founded on the core principles of progress, equality, democracy and sustainability. The party’s vision is for an Ireland where every person can achieve their potential. The party’s co-leaders are TDS Catherine Murphy and Roisin Shortall. As a new party, this is the first time the Social Democrats have fielded a candidate in Offaly.

Speaking at the launch of her campaign in Birr on Saturday, Claffey said “I want to start my campaign the way I will go on – by listening to local people. While I am aware of many of the local issues in Banagher, the electoral area is large and varied, and I’d like to have a broader picture of the issues of importance to people across the area. The Laois Offaly Social Democrats Branch has designed a short online survey and we’re launching it here today, to capture the issues of importance to the whole community. I’d like to urge people to have their say in this survey and help us to target the issues we look at first”. The link to the survey can be found at the Facebook page for Clare Claffey Social Democrats.

Gender balance on Offaly County Council has been in the news recently, with no women represented among the 19 current county councillors. Clare said “I’d love to see better gender balance on Offaly County Council. I’m delighted that three women so far have put their names forward to contest the local elections, and I hope that after May there will be at least one woman on the Council for each of the three electoral areas, Birr, Edenderry and Tullamore.”

Clare is also encouraging all Offaly residents to “Check the Register” to ensure that they can vote in May. While the Electoral Register for 2019 will be published in February, it is possible to add your name to the supplementary register, up to 15 days before polling day. Emphasising that everyone living in an area can vote in the local elections, Clare said “all of us are impacted by the policies of the County Council, whether that is through accessing services like housing or planning, or using roads, playgrounds, libraries or fire services. That’s the case whether you’re an Irish citizen or not, so it’s important that everyone makes sure they are on the register and makes sure they have a say on May 24. All details and forms are on www.checktheregister.ie.”

Clare will be campaigning in the West and South Offaly areas in the coming months and can be contacted at clare.claffey@socialdemocrats.ie. Anyone with questions, issues or comments is invited to get in touch, by email, phone or via social media.

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