Longford County Council’s newest elected member has vowed to uphold the interests of the county’s younger population as one of his key electoral goals over the next four years.
Colin Dalton assumed the seat vacated by predecessor Micheal Carrigy last month following the latter’s election to the Seanad.
The 44-year-old wholesale worker who plies his trade with McCarrick’s Cash and Carry in Longford town, said one of his chief aspirations was to further the interests of the county’s youth populous.
“I am looking forward to working with the people of Granard District and doing the very best I can for them,” he said, adding his deep involvement in local GAA would serve to aid that cause.
“I enjoy a good relationship with the young people and I am looking forward to working with them.”
Cllr Dalton, a former County Minor selector and a man with the best part of 25 years of local involvement under his belt, was also acceptive of the challenges his new post would undoubtedly require.
“I know I have big shoes to fill in Micheal Carrigy but I am ready to do my best,” he added.
In singling out members from his own local Fine Gael branch, colleagues and business clients attached to McCarrick's Cash and Carry, the Ballinalee man reserved a special mention for his parents Mary and Hughie, brothers Enda and Adrian as well as sister Sinead.
A soft-spoken character for the most part, Cllr Dalton was openly candid as to the obstacles facing both him and the local authority he is aligned to as the county attempts to return to some semblance of normality.
“There will be a lot of challenges to try and get businesses back up and running,” he confided, while alluding to the the Government’s ‘ Restart Grant’.
The demand for the grant, based on a companies’ rates bill for last year and can see firms receive up to €10,000 , has seen 400 local firms sign up to it.
“Like the farming community who I intend to support an work on behalf of, we have to try and make sure as many of out businesses get back up and running as possible because this is our local economy we are talking about,” he added.
But, in order to do that, the local GAA stalwart urged people to continue following public health advice in order to supress the spread of Covid-19.
“It's so important we keep observing the guidelines which have got us to where we are,” he said.
“We also must continue to help out the elderly with their shopping and prescriptions, not just for two or three weeks but for as long as we have to,” he added.