05 Oct 2022

Social Democrats consolidate organisation in Laois/ Offaly


The Social Democrats team in Laois/ Offaly

THE Social Democrats has consolidated its party organisation in Laois/ Offaly.

“Our expansion comes on the back of immense work by our existing party members, our current county councillor for the Birr local electoral area Cllr Clare Claffey, and on account of the foundations for our present success which were built by our outgoing Chairperson Ann O’Connor,” said the party's Chairperson in Laois/ Offaly, Cathal Nolan.

He said that over the past number of weeks the party's members have submitted suggestions as part of the public consultation process on the Draft County Development Plan, with the proposed plan running between 2021-2027.

“Our amendments have also taken into account suggestions which we received as part of our previous party initiative 'An Offaly Good Idea'. As a party and as a wider community we are now eagerly awaiting the council's review of the public consultation process and we very much look forward to seeing some of our members' suggestions included in the final plan to be published in 2021,” outlined Mr Nolan.

Speaking to the Tribune this week, the Social Democrats Laois/ Offaly Chairperson stressed: “ Our party is one which has developed a genuine vision for the future of Ireland, and for the future of the constituency of Laois Offaly.”

“Ours is a party which seeks to harbour and encourage the benefits of a truly just transition towards a more sustainable society, as presently we have only encountered a rather unjust transition which has done very little to improve the fortunes of our constituents and their families. Through the immediate reskilling of workers, generous pension bridging packages, innovative uses for cutaway bogs, and through the establishment of community power projects which deliver cheaper, cleaner energy and home heating services to the people of Laois Offaly we will endeavour to bring the fruits of an energy revolution into each and every home across our constituency.”

Mr Nolan said the Social Democrats also “wish to provide community banking services which can significantly reduce the interest rates repayments for SME´s and those wishing to purchase or build their first homes. Currently Irish SME’s pay an average of 5.03% interest on loans of over €250’000, compared with a Eurozone average of just 1.90%. Meanwhile, large corporate businesses in Ireland pay just 2.39% interest on loans of over €1 million.”

He said the party believes in the creation of a fully connected and reliable public transport system, especially for those who are forced to commute some of the longest distances of any workers in the country.

“The average commuter who departs Laois Offaly on a daily basis, of which there are some 25,000, spends an average of 27 days per year commuting to and from their work destination, with that figure failing to allow for traffic disruption which indicates that the yearly total is arguably much higher than 27. By ensuring that all localities within Laois Offaly are connected with high speed broadband, remote working hubs, a vastly improved public transport system and the creation of community carpooling technologies which reward drivers and users of such a service while excess funds are directed back towards a community fund to be reinvested into the Laois Offaly constituency for further local growth and development, we can significantly improve the quality of life for a large percentage of Laois Offaly commuters.”

Over the course of the coming months, the Laois Offaly Social Democrats will outline further policies and offer their stance on other serious issues within the community such as homelessness, thehealth service, education and social isolation amongst the elderly, the lack of local disability, mental, youth and domestic violence services within the constituency.

Mr Nolan revealed: “In the meantime we will be expanding throughout the constituency, with local representatives from the party being established as a point of contact within each of the local electoral areas. Our local rep for the Birr community electoral area will be current county councillor Clare Claffey, with Bernie Mc Intyre, our current party secretary for Laois Offaly, being our person on the ground in Tullamore.”

Mr Nolan said he will be responsible for developing the party and serving as a point of contact in the Edenderry and north Offaly local electoral area, while the Laois party affiliate will be Louise Troy, a well known personality in Portlaoise.

He added: “If there are any issues which you would like to see raised with the county council, or brought to the attention of our parties six TD’s, then always feel free to reach out to our various representatives across the constituency of Laois Offaly, or get in touch through our Facebook and Twitter feeds. If you want to join us on our journey towards creating a more just and equitable society in Laois Offaly then please do reach out to a member of our party, or email us directly at”

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