A Goatenbridge man has announced his intention to contest the upcoming local election for a County Council seat representing the Cahir/Clonmel Local Electoral Area of the new Tipperary County Council.
Martin Lonergan, aged 32, announced his decision to his closest friends during the week after being offered an opportunity to join Deputy Mattie McGrath,TD?s team as an Independent. Mr. Lonergan had been a member of Fianna Fail since 1999 but had recently resigned from that party after failing to secure a nomination when its convention took place last November.
In his speech to his supporters, Mr. Lonergan said that although he regretted having to resign from the party that he had actively supported for almost 15 years, the time had come to join a team that welcomed energetic and open-minded candidates while at the same time sharing many of the same principles of his former party. Mr. Lonergan said he was privileged to have the full support of Deputy McGrath, someone whom he had known for all of his adult lifetime including their mutual time in the Fianna Fail party. Mr. Lonergan stated that he had ?learned the political ropes? while working for Deputy McGrath after he was first elected to the D?il and that he continues to do so after recently returning to Mattie?s Clonmel office in a part-time capacity.
Mr. Lonergan said he was anxious to begin canvassing and to meet as many constituents as possible over the next four months. He stated that he wants to hear first-hand what voters believe are the biggest issues that the newly-elected County Council must address and he committed to adding those concerns to his own personal list of priorities that include the closing down of Council offices in Cahir and South Tipperary, the proposed Eirgrid pylon routes, the need for a pedestrian bridge in Ardfinnan the need for a new industry for the old MOY ISOVER plant in Ardfinnan along with affordable water rates and increased funding for community-based projects. Mr. Lonergan said he had gained significant experience in the voluntary roles he has filled in the past, including, National Secretary of the Community based Organisation Muintir na Tire. He fully understands the importance of putting aside one?s special interests for the betterment of the overall and looks forward to working for you.