Labour Party member of Kilkenny Borough Council and Mayor of Kilkenny until June of this year, Seán Ó hArgáin has been unanimously selected as the party’s candidate in the new Kilkenny City West electoral area for next year’s County Council elections. At the selection convention held in Keogh’s Pub in Callan, Cllr. Ó hArgáin was ratified by the party as its candidate and will now contest the election on the western side of Kilkenny city, including most of the parishes of St. Patrick’s, St. Mary’s and St. Canice’s and now also includes most of the old Callan electoral area including Callan town, Dunamaggin, Kells, Stoneyford and Danesfort.
The selection convention was chaired by the party’s Minister for State for Transport, Alan Kelly TD and was also attended by Ann Phelan, local Labour TD, and fellow councillors. Immediately after the selection convention, the members took to the streets of Callan and distributed leaflets introducing the new candidate.
Cllr. Ó hArgáin committed to running a strong and active campaign.
“I am very honoured to have been selected by the Labour Party tonight as our candidate in the forthcoming local elections. While I have been a councillor in Kilkenny City for almost ten years, my personal and political background is very strongly based in rural Ireland. I am keenly aware of the impact of emigration and lack of unemployment opportunities in towns and villages which are quite close to the city. I will be a voice for those communities and will support them in the work that they do. I have been a voluntary and community activist all of my life and I believe that the voice of the people on the ground must come first.
I will also continue to fight tooth and nail for continued improvements in Kilkenny City. In so many ways, we have done extraordinary things in the city in the past ten years, a time that has seen the city become Ireland’s favourite tourism destination, recognised for its friendliness, cleanliness and great fun atmosphere. We have also seen strong progress in job creation with major flagship companies like State Street, Taxback.com and VHI employing people from all over the county. We also at long last have a university course in Kilkenny after hundreds of years of talk. We need more to be done however and in my time as Mayor, I was happy to work on building those national and international connections which we need to continue to grow.
I also want to make sure that the people of the city will continue to have local government which is close to their needs and continues to develop a vibrant and thriving city as our council has done for over 1,000 years. This is in the interests, not just of the people of the city, but vital to the people of the whole county who rely on the vibrant city economy in so many ways.
I am hugely looking forward to the coming months. I am building a committed and experienced campaign team around me and whatever others may do, I will be proud to face the people on my own record, but also as a proud Labour member in the tradition of the Pattison’s and Cody’s who have inspired me so much. I will be delighted to welcome anybody who wants to support the campaign in any way they can”.