Domnick launches re-election bid with call for action on jobs, rural decline
The Mid-Roscommon region desperately needs more investment in jobs if the decline of local towns and villages is to be reversed, Independent councillor Domnick Connolly has said.
Fully recuperated after a recent spell in hospital, Cllr. Connolly has this week confirmed that he will be contesting this year’s local elections, which will be held on May 24th next.
In an opening campaign statement, the experienced councillor said that while there have been a number of welcome investments in local projects, a lack of job creation, the ongoing decline of rural services and the threat posed by Brexit all represent major challenges for this area.
First elected to Roscommon County Council in 1991, Cllr. Connolly said that he has the experience, contacts and know-how to continue to make a positive contribution in the Roscommon Municipal Area.
“I am confirming that I will be seeking re-election in May” the Independent councillor said. “There are numerous issues which I would consider to be priorities for all elected public representatives at this time. Brexit is uppermost in my mind. There is serious concern in the farming industry. Any farmer I meet mentions it…I mean if there is a no deal outcome, farming in Ireland will be facing a crisis.
“As it is, over the past year or so we have seen further decline in rural Ireland. Rural Ireland is closing fast because of the demise of the small farmer. It’s the small farmer who has been keeping local businesses open, or certainly playing a big part”.
Cllr. Connolly said that while he acknowledges that there have been funding announcements in recent months – in relation to local roads and other projects – much more is needed. In particular, he said, a serious job creation campaign for rural Ireland is now essential.
Cllr. Connolly left Fine Gael over the closure of Roscommon A&E in 2011 and says his position hasn’t changed.
“I stood by the people on the Roscommon A&E issue and I still stand by them. Roscommon is being left behind when it comes to health services…we need more investment and staff to address mental health issues locally, and I also want to see planned projects at Roscommon Hospital and the Sacred Heart Hospital fast-tracked”.
The well-known community figure has had his own experience of hospital recently, although he stresses that he remained accessible to members of the public while briefly hospitalised.
Now he has recovered fully – and is ready for electoral battle.
“I’m ready for the campaign ahead” Cllr. Connolly said, “and I’ll be running a poster-free campaign too!”