James Charity, the Independent politician first elected to the Galway County Council at last May’s local elections, has declared he will stand for the Dáil at the 2016 General Election.
Cllr Charity took a seat in the five-seat Athenry-Oranmore ward, securing 1,424 first preferences, or 11.12 per cent of the votes cast in a 16 candidate field. He was one of 10 Independents elected to the Galway County Council.
This week, Cllr Charity announced he would stand as an Independent in the Galway West constituency in 2016. Based in the Annaghdown-Corrandulla area, the practising barrister and farmer will be mainly competing for votes in the crowded Oranmore end of Galway West, which is also home to fellow Independents, Dep Noel Grealish and Sen Fidelma Healy-Eames.
Cllr Charity’s election campaign will concentrate on regional development in Galway and Mayo, health and mental health policy, rural rejuvenation, education, political reform, employment, social justice, and equality.
“Continued regressive taxation and budgetary measures have repeatedly targeted what has come to be termed as the ‘squeezed middle’,” said Cllr Charity. “While efforts had to be made to improve the State’s financial position, the critical mass of these stealth measures have little regard to payment ability or income, and have served to marginalise sectors of our society who have found it increasingly difficult to survive from week to week.”
Regarding water taxes, Cllr Charity said the issue reveals the political establishment to be “completely out of touch with its citizens”. He said Irish Water “was never required and the undoubted future privatisation of the company will lead to vastly inflated bills being imposed on the most vulnerable and repeatedly targeted sections of our society