Blaine Gaffney – Fine Gael
ONE of Sligo’s youngest candidates believes he is the fresh, young face that
people want to see in local politics.
Fine Gael’s Blaine Gaffney, 29, is running for the first time as a potential representative for Sligo-Strandhill.
Though he has been very active on the political scene for many years, he says
that it was never a life-long dream. His interest was instead driven by the challenges
of the recession he witnessed during his college days.
In the years that followed he gained his degree and a wealth of experience.
“I have a master’s degree in politics from Queen’s University Belfast and went to work
with Mairead McGuinness for a year and a half and that took me all over Europe. Then working with Tony allowed me to see the ability you can have to change someones
life and what it means to to be able to do something when someone comes to
you for help. With the education and experience I have picked up in that time I feel I am now in a position to be able to get things done.”
As one of the proprieters of Lillies Cocktail Bar, Gaffney knows all about the issues facing hopeful business owners. Resolving the well-documented problem concerning empty commercial units is among his top priorities.
“I want to focus on promoting Sligo. There is enough people who want to talk negatively about Sligo, I want to talk about all that is positive. I want to bring a greater level of political accountability to local government through new communication methods. People are saying that social media will change things, but the fact is social media has already changed things and people want to see the work that is being done. The empty commercials units is an issue which needs to be tackled, I would like to create opportunities for micro businesses who could open in these premises but have faced difficulties due to the rates.”