INDEPENDENT city councillor Ger Keohane has entered the race for the Dáil in the Cork North Central constituency.
The Glanmire man, who left Sinn Féin in 2015, has said that he is running to give people another option.
“I can’t afford posters. I have leaflets and I’m tipping away. Individuals have said that I’m a fool, I’m wasting my time, I won’t cover ground, the usual stuff that makes me want to run,” he laughed.
“I said I’d put my name forward. I feel I could make a difference if I got to Dáil Éireann. It’s giving people an extra choice of who they’re going to vote for on the day, but definitely I’d be encouraging people that can vote to get out and vote,” he said.
He told The Echo that he “thought long and hard” about whether he would run, but said that as a city and former county councillor he finds it increasingly difficult to get anything done. Mr Keohane cited the Glashaboy Flood Relief scheme as one issue he’s fed up with.
“At my level as a city councillor I am just finding it more and more frustrating that nothing is being done at a national level to get this sorted. We’ve had so many false starts. The start date was quarter three last year, and still, nothing coming forth,” he said.
Mr Keohane is also pushing for the site of St Stephen’s Hospital in Sarsfields Court to be used properly. The campus is currently home to an acute mental health unit, an Alzheimer's Unit, long-stay mental health units, and administrative and support facilities. Child and Family Agency Tusla also has a presence on the site.
Mr Keohane is calling for the derelict buildings on site to be utilised to their full potential, possibly as anew Emergency Department or for respite care, while he’s said that the Department of Education should look at using five to ten acres to develop a secondary school in response to the demand for places in the area."