The deputy leader of the Fianna Fail party has urged people to vote in the local elections for a woman who has spent her lifetime unlocking the educational potential of hundreds of people.
Deputy Dara Calleary said Imelda Byrne, who is running in the Galway City Central electoral area for the party, was a woman who “spent a lifetime” helping others and “unlocking their potential” in her position as head of the Access programme at NUI Galway. It provides entry to third-level education to students, who for a variety of financial and social reasons, would be unable to do so.
Launching her election campaign in the city, the Ballina TD said Galway would be a “far better, richer, and more caring” city if Ms Byrne, who is from Henry Street and is a niece of the late Cllr Mary Byrne, the city’s first lady mayor, is elected on May 24.
He said Galway was an “incredible” city and one from which he gets energy every time he visits here. It was phenomenally successful on many levels, he said but this cannot be taken for granted. Its future must be re-imagined and re-evaluated. He said he was delighted to have someone of Imelda Byrne’s calibre running for public office for Fianna Fail.
Imelda Byrne said she was privileged to have former ministers and Fianna Fáil “legends” Máire Geoghegan Quinn, Frank Fahey, and Noel Treacy at the launch. She also welcomed the party’s European Parliament candidate Brendan Smith TD.
She said her campaign was about putting Galway and its people first. “Galway is a very unique place. We have no doubt faced and continue to face challenges at all levels of our community, political, and social. We are challenged to make decisions on how and where to allocate our city’s resources while the needs of our citizens continues to increase.
“These needs will change over time, but right now my top priorities are in the areas of access to affordable housing, health with a particular emphasis on mental health and wellbeing, and continued educational opportunities, which will benefit the whole of our community,” she said.