Three of Fine Gael’s four Connemara candidates in May’s Local Elections will be women, with Mary McHugh being the latest addition to the ticket.
Ms McHugh, a first time candidate, is from Ballard, Barna, and will be campaigning in the Barna/Furbo/Moycullen/Boleybeg/Tonabruckey/Gortatleva areas.
Her candidacy completes a strategy for FG whereby all major areas of Connemara are covered, with fellow first time candidate Niamh Byrne in the Oughterard region; Cllr Eileen Mannion covering Clifden and west Connemara; and Cllr Seosamh Ó Laoi covering the coastal and Gaeltacht regions.
One of her campaign platforms is for Barna to become a hub which would attract tourists to stay and spend locally. She is advocating the development of short looped walkways, with seating areas, at Barna Pier and Furbo beach, complemented by signage, highlighting the local amenities and availability of parking. She is also calling for a greenway link from Moycullen to An Spidéal.
Ms McHugh has worked in banking and customer services with AIB, ESB, and Cendant Corporation. She is a member of the Coláiste Éinde board of management and a former captain of Bearna Golf Club.
She is standing in a competitive section of the electoral ward, where she will be competing against Fianna Fáil’s MacDara Hosty, but both will have to face the formidable challenge of sitting councillor, Republican Sinn Féin’s Tomás Ó Curraoin.