Sinn Féin Candidate Deirdre Rings the Bell for Change

Deirdre Bell, Sinn Féin candidate in the Castleisland Local Election Area pictured with party deputy leader Pearse Doherty at the Con Houlihan memorial before their Castleisland town walk-about on Wednesday. ©Photograph: John Reidy 29-5-2024
Bell Ringing: Castleisland Local Election Area Sinn Féin candidate, Deirdre Bell pictured with party deputy leader Pearse Doherty before their Castleisland town walk-about on Wednesday. Included are, seated: Pat Hunt, Mike Brosnan, Ms. Bell, Deputy Doherty and Peter Middleton. Back: Mary Ann Breen, Frank Monaghan and John Breen. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Knocknagoshel native Deirdre Bell is standing for Sinn Feín in the Castleisland local election area and she feels the time is ripe for change.

“We need new energy, new ideas and a shake-up of a system which is not working for the people of the area,” she said after a walkabout in Castleisland with the party deputy leader Pearse Doherty, spokesperson on Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform on Wednesday afternoon

The grand-niece of Blacksmith volunteer Dan Murphy, Deirdre is well known in the Castleisland district and has a track record in local area development.

She is passionate about working to preserve rural life and wants to work with local communities to make them a better place to live and work.

Affected by Emigration

As someone whose family has been directly affected by emigration, Deirdre’s mission is to keep our young people at home.

Last week the Housing Commission put Kerry amongst the top three counties with the least affordable properties in the country alongside Dublin and Wicklow.

“The housing issue is top of my list in terms of what I want to prioritise as a councillor, said Deirdre.

“We need to address vacant properties. There are over 20 council owned rural houses alone vacant across Kerry. Affordability is the big issue and we need radical interventions to make a difference.

Minor Rural Roads

“The state of minor rural roads both in terms of maintenance and excessive speeding on unsuitable surfaces is a constant on the doorsteps in rural areas. I want to work with the council and the local communities to look at practical solutions that are achievable,” she continued.

Deirdre wants to bring vibrancy and life back into rural villages and her work on the steering committee on the Future of Knocknagoshel stands her in good stead to apply similar blueprints to other parts of the Castleisland catchment area.

Deirdre’s Ideas ….

As a councillor Deirdre would act as a catalyst for positive change, her ideas include: Regular Shuttle Bus Service; Lobbying for a shuttle bus service from Farranfore train station and Kerry Airport to Castleisland – this service could significantly increase foot traffic to the area, leveraging its close proximity to major transit hubs; Sports Quarter Development: Advocating for the inclusion of a ‘sports quarter’ in future town development plans. Castleisland boasts unmatched sports facilities, with many of the busiest days and weekends centered around sports events.

Key facilities are conveniently located near each other, including: the pitch and putt club; tennis courts; community centre; Castleisland Soccer Club’s AstroTurf pitch; town park and An Ríocht Athletic Club; Castleisland Rugby Club and Castleisland Desmonds GAA Club.

Connecting Facilities

Enhancing these areas with proper lighting, footpaths, and signage would connect the facilities and position Castleisland as a premier destination for sports tourism.

Deirdre would also encourage the introduction of a Castleisland Town Gift Card initiative as she found that research indicates that town gift cards boost spending in towns and cities across Ireland.

“I propose collaborating with local businesses and the Castleisland Chamber Alliance to explore the feasibility of introducing a gift card initiative for Castleisland as a means of promoting its ‘Fashion Capital’ reputation and the business of the area generally. Let’s bring a woman with with tried and tested credentials.

“Vote for me for Change, for a New Direction and for a Local Candidate Working for Local People,” said Deirdre in signing off. (Advertorial)

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