Statement From Killarney Town Councillor Donal Grady – “The True Independent”
To those whom it may concern and for those who may be interested, I have decided to formally announce my candidacy for the Kerry County Elections next May in the Killarney area.
I have been a sitting councillor on the Killarney Town Council since 1999 and served as a Fire Officer for three decades before that. In all my …time in public service, I have always tried to be an honest, principled, pragmatic, and most importantly an independent voice for the people of Killarney. I have great respect for party-aligned public representatives and am proud to have worked alongside many of them and count them as friends of mine, but I believe that the party system during this country’s recent travails has seen too many of them obliged to back proposals and initiatives imposed from above their heads that were not to ordinary people’s benefit.
I have always been completely independent of the party political system and as such have always been free to express ideas and support or oppose proposals based solely on my own conscience and my own opinions regarding their worth for the public good.
I have opposed many of the financial burdens unfairly placed on ordinary Irish people in recent times by the current Government, such as the Household and Water Tax. I believe that people are being forced to carry too high a financial burden while faced with cutbacks in the provision of basic services in health, in teaching, in welfare, in community services, and in gardai provision. These things are vital for a healthy and vibrant community and I believe that they must be defended.
At the present time, our young people are encouraged by Government policy, if not actually forced, to emigrate if they want a future. The recent budget appears to penalise under-25s who do not take up jobs – even though the same Government has seen a drastic fall in any jobs for them to take up. That is not because of our local representatives, but in too many cases it seems to be a consequence of acquiescent silence. We need to take positive steps to provide economic prospects for these young people. This requires forward-thinking and initiatives. As just one example, let me say that I have always believed that Ireland has a perfect climate and soil conditions for a viable beet industry that should never have been allowed to fall into decline.
The reduction in VAT for hotel and tourism industries was only retained after many public representatives, including myself, voiced our strong support and protection of an industry which plays a huge role in employment and in Kerry’s economic prospects.
The current Government has tried and failed to abolish Seanad Eireann and regrettably succeeded in abolishing All town councils, including our own. This is nothing less than a shameful attempt to silence dissenting voices and avoid uncomfortable questions. Such questions and the raising of important issues are an integral and vital part of public representation. I have been doing this for most of my adult life and, if the people of the Killarney area will support me, I have no intention of ceasing to do so now.