Independent candidate Noel Walsh took to the streets this week with his primarily family-run campaign team. Hailing from Fr. Albert Place then onto Newpark Close, Noel’s upbringing alongside his seven brothers and three sisters taught him a lot about hard work, as he now says he’s not afraid to ‘slog it out to get things done’.
Spending his time helping people with debt and filling out forms, Walsh proudly notes the fact that his phone is on night and day for people who may need him.
Walsh is staunch in his policies, insisting that issues effecting the ordinary person on the street should take top priority. Health Sustem reform is an issue among those at the top of his priority list, stating that he ‘want(s) people who are sick, ill, or infirm to be able to walk into a hospital and get attention straight away at any time’. Other issues include; equality for Irish and non-national citizens in the areas of housing, welfare, and justice; fairer welfare for the poor or unemployed; a large scale enquiry on abuse in St. Joseph’s orphanage; and fairer treatment to those taken by crime.
Constituents are largely welcoming to Walsh when he calls to their door on his campaign route, armed with his gift of the gab. His reputation as a man of the people, ‘one of us’, has given him an advantage he will be glad to have when it comes time to go up against the big parties on February 25. Occasionally being confronted and questioned by those he calls to on issues that matter to them, Walsh is more than happy to answer to the best of his ability – and can he answer; there is rarely a topic on which he is not willing or able to give his views or opinions on, ranging from the abolition of the Seanad to the expenses and vehicles of the current government and down the path of venting about the bailing out of the banks. People react quite well not only to Walsh himself, but to the fact that he is an Independent - sticking to a more anyone-but-them mentality. This could be the major factor in the success of Walsh’s campaign.
Even those passing on the street approach Walsh on his campaign trail, asking questions on his own policy and, more often than not, venting their own opinions and anger on the current situation. Admirably, Walsh always has great time for those who want to talk to him, giving as much time to those who wish to talk as they wish to receive. Reactions from door to door are mostly the same; if one doesn’t have a smile when opening the door to Noel Walsh, they usually have one when closing it.