Launch speech by Cllr Pat Casey, “Working for a positive future”

Fianna Fail General Election candidate Wicklow East Carlow

Wednesday 13th January

Good evening.

There’s a great energy in the room here tonight as we face into a General Election and the

opportunity to build a new, better and positive future.


I want to thank my wife, my family, my friends and dedicated party volunteers who have offered

your support for the battle ahead in the coming weeks.


Tonight, while we still have pause for breath, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone

involved in my political career to date.


Thank you for your effort and commitment.


And, I want to thank all of you who have pledged to knock on the doors, to distribute leaflets, to

canvass our two counties in this wonderful constituency and to allow me to represent you in the

next Dail for the first time.


Tonight is about formally launching our party campaign in Wicklow/East Carlow

So, you’ll be glad to know I won’t be taking up much of your time to tell you what you already know.

That you know it’s time for change driven by Fianna Fail.  It’s time for a fairer, kinder society and

that it’s time to build a positive future for our families and communities.


But to do that we have to address so many issues, all of them urgent, some more so than others.

We are all aware of the national issues.


Here are my seven priorities.

Lack of social housing and the homeless crisis  – a national scandal and despite promises of action

not a single modular house provided to date.


Crime – Fianna Fail provided the national infrastructure on which this economy is now building – but

those motorways that are critical for connection and jobs logistics, for example, also give criminal

gangs easy access and escape routes to a vulnerable rural Ireland.


That’s our rural Ireland, our constituency hit by cuts to manpower and closures of Garda stations.

We need a dedicated rural crime unit to combat that scourge and make people safe in their homes.


After 5 years of Fine Gael and Labour – Wicklow has the 5th lowest number of Garda stations per

1000 population and the 5th highest rate of recorded crime – that is unacceptable and I will work to

end the open season that criminals have inflicted on the people of Wicklow/East Carlow.


Unemployment – Unlike the current TD’s and declared candidates for this constituency I come with

unrivalled experience both with my work in communities and sustaining a successful business and

vital local jobs.


There is no other candidate in Wicklow or East Carlow that can match my record in working and

delivering community services and facilities – as a councillor and as employer.


My unique experience will help tackle problems in job creation, highlight the needs for support for

entrepreneurs and those seeking to expand their business – and emphasise the needs of our

unemployed and school and college leavers.


Jobs are the key to economic recovery – so we must provide supports, end administrative red tape

and ensure the IDA prioritises our constituency for foreign direct investment.


Our elderly need security of their homes and security of income.  I want to see increased Garda

numbers as a vital support for our senior citizens.  I also want a review of their real life income – we

know their pensions have been eroded by new and increased charges – Tanaiste Joan Burton’s

promise of the provision of a couple of bale of briquettes in five years time is insulting to the people

whose tax revenues built this state.


Irish Water – What can I say? When it rains, as it has as we know only too well, thousands of people

have waded through their local roads, hundreds more have had to abandon their family home and

even more wonder will the coming days bring further flooding and evacuation.


Fine Gael and Labour want to charge people for water whether or not they can pay, and regardless

of the quality of that water.  Fine Gael and Labour don’t know what to do.  Their response to the

flooding has been slow, uncaring, and frankly, now that we have too much water they just don’t

know what to do.


Earlier this week, I was impressed by Vincent Browne’s programme on TV3 in our neighbouring

constituency of Kildare.  He challenged the local Fine Gael TD’s claim that the Irish people voluntarily

made a sacrifice – not so said Browne.


I agree fully with Vincent Browne.  The Irish people were sacrificed by this Fine Gael and Labour



It is vital that there is a fair recovery for all citizens – unlike the cuts which inflicted the most pain on

the most vulnerable in society over the last  five years.


Five years without the vision of Fianna Fail has directly led to an unfair society and an unequal



Wicklow during this time has suffered significant reduction in funding to support vital services which

is having a devastating effect on community life.  And, I’d cite just the following few examples:

Leader Funding down 3 million

Child and Family Support Programs


Roads Budgets Cuts and Housing repair

850 million of motor tax in the last 2 years given to Irish water

Cuts to Garda resources including an outdated fleet.


Yes in Government Fianna Fail made mistakes in the past which contributed to the current national

crisis but we also put the plan in place for the recovery. And it is agreed by most of the national and

economic experts that FF always delivered more progressive and fairer budgets – unlike the current

Government whose budgets favoured the rich over those who could least afford to pay.


It’s time to move on with the hard lessons that we all have learned and Wicklow cannot afford to be

without Fianna Fail representation for yet another five years.


I am the candidate that with your help and support, will win that seat back for Fianna Fail.

I will represent you, your family and friends to make a difference and build a positive future.

I am a first time General Election Candidate

I have worked for Wicklow as a councillor for the past eleven years and have a unique understanding

of the problems, needs and assets of our constituency.

I am using the slogan working for a positive future. I used this throughout my life and it has delivered

for me personally in business but equally in helping communities get through difficult situations.

My campaign and venture into national politics to win a Dail seat begins in earnest now.

So I am asking you here tonight for your support in whatever way you can for the next 7 weeks. I

cannot do it without your support so join the team and be part of this historic journey that I’m

setting out on.

Finally having lived in Wicklow all my life I realise that it has a unique set of opportunities and indeed


I believe Wicklow is a wonderful place to live and work and the people are confident, courageous

and resolute.

It is with this belief that I begin this campaign.

To win I need your belief in me and together we can achieve the success we all desire.

Friends, I will be making Wicklow and East Carlow a number one priority for government.

I’m asking you for your support and your number one vote in this vital general election to elect me,

to make our constituency a priority for Government to get your voice heard.

Together let’s work for a positive future.

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