TIPPERARY NORTH LABOUR PARTY SELECTION CONVENTION
Posted by Alan Kelly on December 20, 2010 at 01:37 PM
Friday, December 17th will always be a proud datte for me as I fulfilled a dream of becoming the Labour party's Dail General Election candidate. A large crowd attended the Convention in The Rag, Thurles despite the terrible weather conditions. It was a very special night for myself and my family who have been involved in the Labour party for many years. I was especially pleased to see so many new faces at the event who want a change and I'm delighted that they see me as the avenue to that change in North Tipperary. I was nominated to run by Ger Lewis from Nenagh. Ger is one of the most popular Labour members I have ever met. Last year he along with his brother Frank were gold medal winners for their contribution to the Labour party. My Party Leader Eamon Gilmore is a good friend of his. His electoral knowledge is fantastic and he has been a great friend of mine for many years. Michael Shanhan is a good old friend of mine from Roscrea, whose father Tommy Shanahan was a long time Councillor for the party in that area. I was delighted to have the calibe of these two great individuals to propose and second me.
This will be the most important election for a generation. The people of North Tipperary and Offaly South have been let down locally and nationally. Factories closing, small businesses being squeezed, young people emigrating – this is not what people voted for the last time. Now it must be different.
People will demand more from their politicians. We need more than just parish pump politics – we need honesty, straight talking, a new direction and to give hope to local communities. The challenges are huge, but people need to believe we can get through them. Sadly, people do not feel this now. This is where Labour can help. We need real leadership and I’m going to offer that
This will be a major challenge. Have no doubt about it. But I am putting myself before the people not just as a politician, but also as Alan Kelly, the person. Someone who was born and raised here, who has just started raising a young family in North Tipp and knows where we have gone wrong. I am a person of conviction. I believe in what I say and do and I can see the real pain that people are going through in our country and all around me. I see the people I grew up with and went to school with out of work and emigrating. Our main towns, Nenagh, Thurles, Roscrea and Templemore have been decimated by loss of factories and jobs. I want to see jobs restored to this great county and I don’t think the other parties know how to do this. They talk about this waffle called a ‘smart economy’ but I really don’t think many of them have a clue.
In the coming months I intend to set out exactly how I believe we can get our economy turned around, how we can rid ourselves of the injustice of the greed of the bankers and get people working again. This election will combine local issues with national issues and it will be important to be competent in both. Our local services are dying along with local jobs. I believe this situation can be reversed and I am putting myself before the people in order to serve with Eamon Gilmore in the next Government to try and fix this. That’s what I offer to the people of North Tipp in this election and I believe I will be the only person offering this.
The decision to bail out Anglo Irish Bank was the worst decision in the history of the state. Everyone knows it was an insane move to make the taxpayer bailout developers whose only motivation was pure greed. When you are out canvassing, please remind everyone that the Labour party was the only party in the state that voted against the bank bailout that has forced us into the arms of the EU and IMF. We were right. Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, the Greens, Sinn Fein and Michael Lowry all got it wrong and we all know it now.
I come from a very modest background. Things were never easy for my parents when I was growing up. I was born into the Labour party. My family walked the streets for Paddy Tierney and John Ryan and for many others. I grew up in a family that had unparalleled admiration for John Ryan. If I can follow in his footsteps it would be a true honour and I will honour that privilege by running the best campaign I can and hopefully delivering for the people by being part of the next Government in this country.