Barbara Smyth (People Before Profit)
Q: What do you think will be the main issues coming up on the doorsteps in Longford/Westmeath now that the election campaign is underway?
A: Public order/feuding, lack of social housing, lack of job prospects, lack of home care hours and any meaningful healthcare, poor facilities for people with disabilities.
Q: What should be the key local priorities for the constituency in the next Dáil?
A: More Gardaí on our streets and legislation to take a hard-line approach to feuding on our streets. Ending waste collection gouging and bring it back under local authority control – privatisation for profit hasn’t worked. Enhancement of the apprenticeship programme so more young people can learn a trade. Public housing on public land to tackle the ever-growing housing waiting list.
Q: Why should people vote for you?
A: We need a fighter in Dáil Éireann, 100 years of voting for the two civil war parties has us in the mess we’re in today. FF & FG have persecuted the poorest and weakest in society to pay for their reckless decisions. A No.1 vote for me will ensure an effective TD represents us all, equally. I will fight to end the wealth divide and make Longford truly matter. I will stand up to racism and the worrying rise of the far right. I will not participate in, support or endorse a government that includes FF or FG.
Q: If you had the power to make one big thing happen, what would it be?
A: I’d repair the HSE by making front line staff matter, by changing management so they listen to the nurses and doctors and make meaningful improvements. I’d stop consultants from using public hospitals to do private work and reduce waiting lists.
Q: Who will top the poll in the constituency?
A: This is largely irrelevant; we just need four genuine people who are elected to represent us all equally and properly. This is what I believe the electorate want too.
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