JIM MCGARRY Independent
JIM MCGARRY is a former mayor and councillor who served Sligo County Council for 29 years.
He lost his seat in 2014 but if re-elected, has vowed to get Sligo “back on track”.
Having previously been a member of Labour and Fine Gael, he has decided to run in the Strandhill Sligo area as an independent candidate.
He said: “I’ve wanted to run since the day I lost my seat in 2014. I was 29 years in local politics and throughout the time I was able to help an enormous amount of people with all manner of difficulties. There’s a sense of satisfaction that comes from helping others which can’t be found anywhere else. Over the last five years, as I was not a sitting councillor, I
was given the perspective of a citizen of Sligo and how frustrating it is to watch our town stagnate. I want to get us back on track any way I can.”
Experience and emphasis on local issues are the main elements that Jim feels he brings to the table as a potential councillor.
He said: “I bring 29 years of experience in local government. I know the ropes and I know how to get things done. You can never underestimate the value of experience where local government is concerned. Candidates can and often do make a stand on national issues at local level. While national issues are of course important, a local election should be
about local issues. I also bring accessibility and accountability which you may not find in others due to my contactable presence locally.”
Making the council accessible to citizens of Sligo will be one of the main goals that Jim will look to build on if elected.
He explained: “I want to get our council working for people again. People need strong and tenacious leadership from their elected representatives now more than ever. We have been
too complacent for too long with important policy. Sligo can thrive, but it needs our help. I can bring issues such as housing, job creation and business development to the fore. Big changes start small, and the best a local councillor can do is utilise their skills and position to make Sligo a better environment for everyone whatever way they can.”
Housing will be the main issue that Jim wants to address in his first year if he is successful on May 24.
He said: “Affordable housing would be my main priority. I’m sure everyone knows the situation nationally but locally we are not better off. Sligo County Council built 16 social housing homes in 2016, a deplorable figure. More young people are remaining at home as they are unable afford a suitable home due to ever increasing rents and lack of availability. We, as a Council, can change this by ensuring supply is increased. This can be done with a clear budgetary policy and local development plan, along with strategic use of property already owned by Sligo County Council.”
According to Jim, a vote for him is a vote for experience in carving out Sligo’s future.
He said: “Your vote is a powerful tool to shape the environment you live in. I would urge you to cast it for a candidate with proven experience and ability in myself. I am keen to get
back to work for the people of Sligo and given the opportunity, can make a valuable addition to Sligo County Council. I look forward to meeting you all in the coming weeks and if you have any queries big or small, please contact me.”