Housing is the biggest fight, says councillor

Cllr Gino O'Boyle.

Cllr Gino O’Boyle – People Before Profit

SITTING Cllr Gino O’Boyle is hoping to retain his seat in Sligo County Council on his own merit this year.
The People Before Profit candidate was co-opted in 2015 following the passing of his father, Cllr Seamus O’Boyle.

He is a security manager in the Garavogue Bar and balances work with being a councillor.

“I took real pride in being able to say that I am a sitting councillor and being Deputy Mayor in that time is something I would never have thought I would have the chance to do. I am running because over the last couple of decades we have been politically dominated by Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour who have privatised many of our public services which is something I have fought for, such as proper healthcare which has been decimated. Housing is a main priority that people think isn’t a problem in Sligo, but when you factor in the HAP and RAS schemes, there are over 2,000 people homeless in Sligo.”

For the 34-year-old, long-term mindsets are crucial in the development of Sligo. He doesn’t expect to achieve anything overnight and instead hopes to be able to reflect on an accomplished five years of hard work in 2024.

“I am a long-term person, but long-term thinking seems to be a problem locally and nationally. Everything is done suddenly and as soon as it fails it is swept under the carpet. If I am elected, I am being elected for five years, and if I can turn around at the end of that and say I achieved x, y or z, I will be happy to put my hand back in again. You are there to do a job, not for personal gain or popularity.”

Improved healthcare is among his top priorities, but Gino says social housing is the biggest fight.

“Housing is always going to be a major issue until we start developing public housing. We wasted €2 million in administration on Irish Water, why could that money not go into housing? We have given around €1 billion so far to private landlords when that could have gone into building affordable housing. Where does it end?”

O’Boyle says his three and a half years on the council have been enjoyable and now wants to prove what he can do over five years.

“A vote for me is a vote for change. I have been an alternative voice for the last three and a half years in the council. I feel I have done a good job and if people keep their faith in me, I will do the same again”.

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