It’s a huge honour for me to be selected to fly the flag for Labour in the next general election in Longford Westmeath.
I’ve got big shoes to fill, but anyone who knows me, knows I don’t shy away from a challenge.
Willie Penrose has represented us proudly for over 25 years
Many a time they wrote him off, but he always stayed true to core Labour values.
It was touch and go the last time, but those decades of service to the people stood by him, and returned him to the Dail in 2016.
But time rolls on, and I’m ready now to pull on the Labour jersey and ensure we hold the seat in the next election whenever it comes.
I’m reliably informed I have deep Labour roots, and that my great grandfather Patrick Clark was a Cllr back in the forties.
His claim to fame was getting thrown out of the Greville Arms when Eamon De Velara was attending a meeting.
I can’t make the same promise, but I will certainly be fighting for the people of Longford Westmeath.
It means an awful lot for me and Corinne, to have family, friends, and Labour members who have fought hard with Willie over many years supporting me.
When I take on a challenge, I have only one goal in mind, and that’s to win.
Our county, and Longford face big challenges.
Too often, we are the forgotten Midlands, the places that you drive through on the way to somewhere else.
As a frontline HSE worker in addiction, I know the pressure our health service is under.
I know the pressures carers are under, the strain on our hospitals, and lack of nurses and doctors, and failure to care for our people.
As a father and husband, I know the stresses young families face, and what it takes to raise a family.
I look at our town, and I think what we could achieve if we got the investment, if we got the jobs, if we had good broadband, and the chance to promote our areas.
If only the IDA took us seriously, if only a local business could get the support it needs to sell itself to the world.
There are too many people without a home, too many people worried if they’ll have enough work, and enough left over to pay the bills.
Too many people who need someone in Dublin to fight for them. I want to be their voice.
As a proud GAA man, I know the importance of building a strong team, and leading on the pitch, working together, putting in long days and nights training.
This is who I am, what I stand for, and what inspires me. I am asking for your support.