Kelly: Cork a ‘top priority’ for the Labour Party

Kelly: Cork a ‘top priority’ for the Labour Party

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly TD has said Cork is a top priority for both him and his party.  Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

LEADER of the Labour Party Alan Kelly has said Cork is a top priority for both him and his party. 

“Cork is a top priority for the Labour Party, a top priority for me as leader of the Labour Party," Mr Kelly told The Echo during a recent visit to Cork.

“I was politically socialised in Cork. I was here at 16 years of age, went to college here in UCC and was very much involved in the party here in Cork.

“We have a lot of work to do here but it’s something that I’m really passionate about because I believe Cork needs Labour Party representation." 

Mr Kelly had a full agenda during his visit, meeting with a number of different people to discuss a range of issues affecting Cork.

“We met with Linda Kelly and her colleagues in relation to maternity restrictions and also the issue of how women and children are being affected by the pandemic," he said. "On top of that we were out canvassing Glanmire with Cllr John Maher and we’re going around seeing dereliction across the city, talking about housing, visiting UCC and many other things.” 

When he served as Minister of State with special responsibility for Public and Commuter Transport, Mr Kelly said he was instrumental in bringing the Coca-Cola Zero Bikes scheme to Cork in 2014.

“I was the person who brought the bike scheme to Cork – something I’m very proud of," he said. "Something which they said was never achievable during a recession.” 

In its alternative budget the Labour Party had proposed free public travel for young people as well as an expansion of the city bike schemes.

Mr Kelly said free public transport for children and students would help alleviate some of the financial pressure on families.

“I believe we also need modal change whereby younger people are thinking about their options as regards getting to and from places whether it’s socialising, sports, school," he said. “That’s the reason we proposed that.

“I think there should also be a set rate for people who travel in the one day, whether it be €2 or €3 for as many trips as you want.”

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