‘Rural people matter’

CANDIDATE: Donal Gilroy.


DONAL GILROY is a Fianna Fáil candidate running in the Sligo-Drumcliffe area.

Donal cites his years volunteering as being one of the main reasons behind him deciding to run.

He said: “I have for over 30 years worked with voluntary groups within my community but always felt I was on the outside scratching at the doors and feel it is time to have someone on the inside to kick the table and get equal rights and services for people in the Sligo Drumcliffe area.”

Determination and willingness are qualities Donal feels he can bring to the table as a councillor.

He said: “Persistence and integrity is what I will bring. I have a proven track record of taking on issues that have been neglected in the past. I am never afraid to ask why not when faced with obstacles to the development of services, in all areas of Sligo. I have overcome the challenges of living with diabetes, a chronic lifelong condition since I was a
teenager. Instead of taking this as a negative I have used it to draw an inner strength to fight for what I believe in.”

“I have the experience of being forced to emigrate during the recession of the 1980’s and starting my own small business in 2008 in the teeth of the last recession. I will never step back and say nothing can be done because I believe there is always something positive to do. These life experiences and challenges have taught me that there is always another alternative.”

“I have always had a policy of believing what I am told, but I take the responsibility to verify the facts. When agencies of the State give me an answer or reason for a decision I will check and verify that it is not just SPIN. I will never be afraid to put the rights of people in rural areas first in every decision taken.”

More focus across the county in terms of services and development will be key to Donal if he is successful.

He said: “I want to see equality across the county. Currently too much of the expenditure is centred on the urban area around Sligo town. I will push for equality for all areas with equality of expenditure across the three electoral areas. My vision is to create sustainable
vibrant living communities in an environmentally friendly region that sustains agriculture and rural living for future generations. To this end I will build a link between North Leitrim and North Sligo to start a plan that will lead to the development of a new national park to become the Snowdonia or Yorkshire Dales of Ireland.”

Putting rural parts of Sligo on the council’s agenda is something that Donal wants to see more of.

He said: “I want to put rural areas back in the focus of council management, to source burial grounds for Rosses Point, Grange and Cliffoney and relieve the pressure on Rathcormac which is providing all new graves for these areas and to develop a trilateral
plan that draws strength from the three major tourism attractions in Sligo-Drumcliffe. These are the the Yeats connections with Ballisodare, Drumcliffe and Lissadell, the Spanish Armada story that links Streedagh to Glencar and the causeway coast via North Leitrim and the Megalithic Carrowmore and Creevykeel tombs, a symbol that this was a great area to live in 4000 plus years ago and is a good place to live today”.

Despite failing to be elected in 2014, Donal says that the experience of running was beneficial.

He was: “I took strength from the strong support I got. I used this to work even harder on community issues and the promotion of our area. I have kept working within the community to better the lives of everyone. I spearheaded a campaign to force Irish Water to upgrade the waste water treatment plant in Grange and in doing so brought forward the WWTP at Strandhill, Tubbercurry and Ballinafad. I have pushed tirelessly to achieve
improved services for people with Diabetes at Sligo University Hospital. I have been involved in Community Alert, Community Games, Spanish Armada Ireland, Glens to Sea and Save Our Post Office Campaigns. If elected I will leave no stone unturned to deliver the best of services with the minimum of waste and the minimum of spin.”

Donal’s main motto is “rural areas matter, rural communities matter and above all rural people matter.”

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