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General Election Launch Speech
I believe that the people of Wicklow/East Carlow are looking forward to casting their votes in the upcoming election and are ready to question candidates on the issues that matter most.
In listening to the people, I am struck by how often certain issues arise.
There is no doubt that many people are struggling day to day to make ends meet. Although they may have a job and a house, they are barely surviving. They are incensed with all of the extra burdens which have been placed on their shoulders such as property tax, water charges, USC and now the latest suggestion from the Government, a new flood insurance levy on top of existing levies.
These people feel they are the forgotten people in this country. They pay for everything and receive nothing. They believe they are keeping the country going while others either don't make any contribution or could make a greater contribution from their greater resources. They are only waiting for the opportunity to hammer home to this Government that they have had enough.
There is also huge anger and unhappiness among older people in this constituency. They are angry with the loss of their medical cards, the withdrawal of their telephone allowance, the escalating prescription charges and the constant worry that other services will be withdrawn in the future. They are completely underwhelmed with the miserly increase in the old age pension and are determined to have their say in this election.
I have also been struck by the fact that there is still serious poverty in this country. Despite the constant boasting by this Government that the national finances are in great shape, there are many people living in our country who are cold and hungry. They are often despairing of the future but I believe that they also want a voice. They want someone to think about them and represent them because they also believe this Government has long ago abandoned them.
I am running in this election because I want to be the voice of all the people in this constituency. People want to have at least one representative in the Dáil who will be speak for them and not a political party. There is a fine tradition in this constituency of electing Independent TD's such as the late Johnny Fox T.D. and his daughter Mildred Fox T.D. who represented this constituency with distinction. I believe the need for an independent voice in the Dáil is as important now as it ever was.
If the people place their trust in me I will work night and day for them. I will be the voice of the people of Wicklow/East Carlow and with your help we can make it happen.