As the lady’s dog scuttles out the front door and sniffs the flower beds, her owner tells Independent candidate Joanne Pender about her views on the state of the country. Angry with the property tax, the introduction of the water charges and the financial strain being put on people, she declares the government just don’t understand.
“We have to send them a clear message. They should not be rewarded for what they have done,” agrees Joanne.
“We vote no and they don’t listen,” responds the homeowner. As she calls her dog back inside, she remarks, “at least she does what she’s told, not like that shower.”
As the first time candidate hits the canvassing trail around the Cloghgarrett Abbey, Rathbride/Curragh Finn area of Kildare town on Wednesday evening April 16, it’s apparent that many people are unhappy with the current government.
The quality of the water is of concern for many residents since they were switched over to the hard water supply. One woman explains how she had to change her appliances because of limescale build up. Joanne explains how the water issue is something she has been lobbied on time and time again in parts of Kildare town. She tells homeowners she hopes that a number of independents can get elected so that when the council gets control over the property tax, that they may be able to reduce it. Having first experienced the world of politics while out campaigning against the property tax and water charges for over two and a half years, Joanne, who is originally from the Curragh, but now lives in Kildare, decided to run for election. Other issues of concern include social housing/sheltered accommodation and the eviction of over holders at the Curragh Camp. She has a team of helpers who dash from door to door wearing their “Vote Joanne Pender No. 1” t-shirts. Many residents politely accept the election leaflets and don’t offer a commitment to vote either way, some pledge support, and some residents are not home.
“We’ve been getting a very good response in general,” she says. Out most nights across the Kildare Municipal District, her husband also comes along to lend his support. As half eight approaches, all the houses on their list are done and Joanne decides to pack it in for the night.
The Leinster Leader will be on the election trail between now and Friday, May 23, with candidates from across Kildare.