Three Bray-area candidates have been selected to run for Fine Gael in the coming local elections in May.
Melanie Corrigan will contest the new 4-seater constituency of Bray West in a bid to represent the area on Wicklow County Council.
Fine Gael are also fielding two candidates to contest the four seats of Bray East: Edward Whelan and Aoife Flynn Kennedy.
The candidates were chosen at a “packed” convention held in The Martello gastropub in Bray last night.
Last year, two new Bray local electoral areas were created, splitting the 8-seat area in two. In February, John Ryan, Fine Gael’s sole councillor in Bray, announced he would not run for re-election and would leave politics after serving the area since 2004. Independent Cllr Christopher Fox also announced his intention not to seek another term.
Melanie Corrigan, a native of Enniskerry, told WicklowNews.net that if elected her key focus would be protecting villages in Wicklow. She says she would be “delighted to represent [her] area as it will give me the opportunity to work to make it a better place for us all to live in.”
The first-time political candidate, who comes from a farming background, says her family have lived in the area for 300 years.
“I want to see investment in our sports facilities to protect young people’s mental and physical health. Investment into tidy towns, parking and roads to promote tourism and encourage employment,” added Corrigan.
“We need to make sure adequate provision is made for social housing for people from our area and suitable housing for our elderly and people with disabilities.”
Aoife Flynn Kennedy, one of two Fine Gael candidates contesting Bray East, serves as the Chairperson of the East Coast Regional Drugs & Alcohol Task Force. She is also an active Scout leader, and has worked with three separate local authorities while continuing to study Housing, Addiction Studies and Social Policy.
Reacting to her selection, she told WicklowNews.net that she is: “Truly honoured and excited. This town has a wealth of opportunities only waiting to be explored and developed, and I feel I have the skills and the drive to make real change.”
Kennedy highlighted a number of key issues which she thinks need to be addressed in Bray. They include access to social and affordable housing in the town, limited mental health services, and access issues faced by those with disabilities.
“Bray currently does not have enough other social housing providers operating in the town,” she says. She added that “mental health services in the town are limited – especially during crisis situations, out of normal office hours. I know the impact this can have on the individual and their family and want to see an increase in these supports.”
She also hopes to “[work] closely with the local authority in addressing the traffic congestion on the N11 and ensuring that community voices are heard throughout the planned improvement works.”
“These major works are very much welcomed but need to be carried out in a way that takes into consideration the community and the environmental issues.”
Kennedy also brought attention to a number of other issues, including promoting environmental awareness, supporting existing local businesses, and said that she would like to see office space for startups within the town at reduced rates.
Good canvass with Edward Whelan in Bray today. A superb candidate for Wicklow County Council. Enjoyed the chats with people – before the rain came! ☔️ pic.twitter.com/tMA9z9MM7k
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) March 2, 2019
Got a news tip or an issue you would like to see covered during the upcoming local elections in Wicklow? Please contact me at richard.herlihy2 [at] mail.dcu.ie