Thanks to Amy Rose Harte in the Donegal News and Donna Deeney in the Letterkenny Post for the write-ups this week, on my decision not to seek election to Donegal County Council and to step down from Letterkenny Town Council at the election on June 4th.
I made the decision not to seek a nomination for the County Council in December, when the candidate selection interviews took place. After considering my position for a long time, and consulting with family, friends and supporters, I’ve also decided not to seek re-election for the Town Council.
The articles talk about “personal and professional reasons”, which boils down to the limited number of hours in any given day. The merging of the Letterkenny and Milford electoral areas gave me a fantastic opportunity to take a seat on Donegal County Council, which would mean spending much more time on politics and less time for work, study and a personal life. Since starting work at Strawberry Media in March, things have been great, and there is a number of things I want to do there which will require commitments of time at work, and time working with clients up an down the country.
The decision came down to figuring out how to strike the right balance, and give each element the commitment they deserve. Where I to remain on the Town Council, and do the personal, professional and academic things I intend to, something would definitely suffer. By not seeking re-election to the Town Council, I hope someone with the ability to commit full-time to the role will get the seat and continue to work for the people of the Town.
Is this the end for me and politics? Certainly not. I will be active during the campaign for Fianna Fail, both in Letterkenny and wherever else I can help. I take my position as a Councillor very seriously, and will be working on local issues right up until the end of my term. I also intend to continue supporting a number of the groups I have worked with over the last five years. I won’t rule anything in or out for the future, as circumstances will certainly change, but the decision at this stage is made. I love politics, and public service, and I hope I can be of help in the future, in whatever way.
Being a Councillor has given me an awful lot, I’ve really enjoyed the role and the interaction with people in Letterkenny, across the Country and around the world. It has even helped me professionally, particularly through this website. I’ve learned a huge amount in the last five years, from the first day of campaigning right up to today as I write this.
I have a list of people to thank as long as my arm, so I can’t really get in to it here for fear of leaving someone out. Family and friends have been key, particularly Mary who has had the key role of settling me whenever I get worked up about an issue (and stopping me saying something/doing stupid!). The Fianna Fail party, and all those who supported my campaign, made it all happen. The local media here gives great coverage to the issues, much more so than in many other towns around the country. The online community, bloggers and readers, who have contributed here and elsewhere. My fellow councillors, and the staff at Letterkenny Town Council, have a great working relationship that moves beyond party politics and delivers for the people of the town. And certainly, the people of Letterkenny who gave me their trust and have made everything over these busy years worth it.
So, back to work, still five months to go!