Meet the candidate: Longford Municipal District Joe Flaherty (Fianna Fáil)
Name: Joe Flaherty
Party: Fianna Fáil
Address: Clonbalt Woods, Longford
Why have you decided to run in the local elections?
I live in Longford town with my young family and passionately believe that there is no better place in the world to live, work, and raise a family than Longford town. Not withstanding that, I see the challenges; in the form of infrastructural deficits; crime; access to housing and job opportunities. For those reasons I have committed myself to political life, steadfast in the knowledge that we can only effect real change by getting involved and making a difference
Why should people vote for you?
These are challenging times for Longford town and county. We need a firm focus on regeneration, retail revitalisation, housing, law and order; and job creation. These core aspirations require vision and leadership and an ability to work with agencies with a view to ensuring a better future for Longford. I have those attributes and passion to deliver for Longford and its people
What do you think is lacking in your area and what will you be campaigning for?
It has never been as hard to live in rural Ireland and that challenge is best epitomised here in Longford. We need to focus on safeguarding the viability and future for small family farms and family businesses. We need town and village rejuvenation that reaches beyond trophy projects and delivers real results.
Longford has a unique housing problem and we're still several years away from a fully functioning housing market here. Our specific issues have been lost in the national narrative but affordable housing and the right to housing for all is a key challenge.
With a couple of notable exceptions, the bulk of the job creation over the past two years has been in the minimum wage sector. We urgently need to enhance the disposal income and spending power in the county. That requires working with the IDA to bring a major pharma, healthcare employer to the town.
We need to tackle lawlessness and public order offences. The solutions goes beyond the Gardai, and will require a multi agency approach, that sets aside megaphone statements and outbursts, and seeks to engage the powers of all statutory authorities so as to oust criminal activity and its masterminds from our communities