CORK’s northside can no longer allow the status quo of a Fianna Fáil TD propping up the Fine Gael-led Government, it has been claimed.
Labour city councillor John Maher has been selected tonight as his party’s candidate for the upcoming by-election in Cork North Central and hopes to break the chain of the two Government parties having at least one seat each in all the county’s constituencies.
Mr Maher was the second candidate elected to the city council in the north-east in May’s local elections behind Fianna Fáil’s Ken O’Flynn.
He said increasing housing delivery, improving public transport and gaining equality for working-class areas in Cork city will be his main focuses if elected.
“We’ve had our TDs head off Europe and they have just made noise and that does nothing for the northside.
“We still have a massive housing crisis, we have people on hospital waiting lists, a lack of Gardaí on the street and unaffordable childcare.
“There are also issues with how local Government is funded, northside transport and the North Ring Road is still some way off.
“We need to improve mental health services for young people and acknowledge the climate change problems we face and it is important to note that this is not just a Green Party issue.
“Now we need a TD that addresses those issues to break the cycle of inequality.
“It can be like survival of the fittest and the Hunger Games for some. Some people might be doing alright but there are working people that are struggling to pay rent and none of this is being addressed.
“At the moment we have Fianna Fáil propping up Fine Gael and are we going to allow that to continue?
“If people vote for me, I am not asking for the status quo to remain, we need a different approach and some action, especially for the northside.”
He added that illegal dumping and enforcement of local authority litter bylaws is also something he plans to bring to the Dáil if he wins a seat.
Mr Maher joins Fine Gael Senator Colm Burke, the Green Party’s Oliver Moran, Fianna Fáil’s Padraig O’Sullivan, Sinn Féin’s Thomas Gould and Fiona Ryan of the Solidarity Party in trying to gain the seat vacated by Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher who became a member of the European Parliament in May.
Mr Maher was selected by the Labour party unopposed after former TD Kathleen Lynch decided against running.