Ten questions with.......

Joan Geraghty (FF)

(1 ) Why are you running for election?

Because I have a lot of work to do to make Mayo an even better place. After years spent trying to figure the system out, I feel ready now to give back. Even if I don' t get elected I will always be glad I put myself forward.

(2 ) What is the big issue in your area?

It is probably the great unspoken horror scenario that if the fortunes of Allergan ever changed, Westport would collapse. There is great ongoing progress in the local business community but we need at least one more Allergan-like startup in the town to ensure our kids also have a great future here.

(3 ) Describe yourself in three words.

Driven; versatile; approachable.

(4 ) What person do you admire most?

I am a big fan of Joan Burton. She is gutsy, well informed, and takes no crap. She just turned 65 but is still in her prime. I also love her ministerial brief. Social welfare is a big area of interest for me.

(5 ) Can local councillors make a difference?

Everyone can make a difference and local councillors have a role to play in facilitating people to find their voice and articulate their needs through them. It's all about self-empowerment.

(6 ) If you could only get one project completed in the next few years what would it be?

I would love to see local business thriving again, especially in the retail and service sectors. Self-employed people deserve medals for all they do, creating employment, working long hours, meeting the bills. Rents, rates and employment levies are way too high. We need to encourage enterprise.

(7 ) What do you enjoy most about politics?

Making new friends with the finest of people and being on the inside track. For years I sat on the press bench at council meetings watching and wondering. Joining Fianna Fail when it was at its lowest ebb felt like coming out but also so right. I will never regret it.

(8 ) What might people not know about you?

That I love being left- handed because I feel it helps me think outside the box. I also love getting older as it takes time to figure out who you are and what really matters.

(9 ) What do you expect to hear on the doorsteps?

People have lots of issues they want help with and thankfully in Mayo they are pretty forthcoming. Right now the weather damage is ongoing; decent full- time jobs for hard workers are few and far between; family homes are in jeopardy. Basically the foundations are in place but the roots are rotting.

(10 ) Will Mayo ever win an All-Ireland final?

Of course. Believe and it will happen. This applies to the lads and not just the fans. Up Mayo.

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