Emmet Kane (back centre) with John McGuinness, Dep Fiona O'Loughlin, Cllr Martin Miley and Dep Brendan Smith
Deputy John McGuinness, Chair of the Dail’s Finance Committee, was the guest of honour at the local election campaign launch for Castledermot candidate Emmet Kane in Teach Diarmada, Castledermot last Saturday night, March 30.
McGuinness was joined by outgoing Councillor, Martin Miley Jr, Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin and Deputy Brendan Smith, who is a Fianna Fáil candidate for the Midlands North West European Constituency.
They each told the packed Teach Diarmada that Emmet Kane needs their support in the local elections on May 24 to ensure the voice and interests of rural Athy Municipal District continue to be served in Kildare County Council.
Mr McGuinness told the packed meeting that politics needs honest public representatives with high moral standards to ensure that the values of the State’s founding fathers are upheld.
He said strong public representation is an essential element of our society to ensure our communities are properly cared for, including providing housing and tackling homelessness, as well as ensuring the Government and officials properly account for taxpayers money.
Outgoing Cllr Martin Miley told the meeting that he and his family represented the rural interests of the Athy electoral area for 60 years and encouraged his supporters to now vote for Mr Kane. He said it is 35 years since Castledermot had a councillor and that the county council needs a strong rural representation.
Ms O’Loughlin said she has served with Mr Kane on Fianna Fail’s National Executive and other party activities over the years.
“There are so many opportunities in the area of skills development and apprenticeship where you can learn as you earn. All of those areas of enterprise, of supporting local business, of supporting education and skills, are all areas Emmet Kane has vast experience in. He has a lot of ideas and a very strong vision to help realise that in Castledermot and in our rural communities,” she said.
Mr Kane told the meeting: “If elected, I am committed to continuing the excellent representation that Cllr Miley has given to this area for the past 15 years. I will work hard for our community and hope to bring my experience of volunteering with many national and local organisations to the benefit of the people of Rural Athy Municipal District.
“If elected I will work with our many active and vibrant community leaders, and with the relevant agencies, and will encourage those agencies be more inclusive of rural areas.
“Education and training should be more accessible to people living in local areas and not just be concentrated in urban centres. We also need more job opportunities in our rural areas and there is enormous hidden tourism potential in our rich heritage and landscape stretching from Calverstown, Narraghmore, Mullaghamast ,Ballitore, Moone, Kilkea and Castledermot.”
He said he will also work to support efforts to combat anti-social behaviour in our rural communities which he believe requires not only a concerted effort and investment, but also listening to all of the community, including our young people themselves.
Mr Kane has worked with young people delivering after-school wood-turning training in St Conleth's Community College School, Newbridge since 2007.
“I will bring my creative and practical knowledge to help find meaningful solutions to ensure young people have alternatives that they will be encouraged to get involved with," he said.
“Climate change is the biggest challenge we are facing and we all have to start thinking how it will effect our lives in now and in the further from heating out homes to how we live.
"Communities have to be encourage and enabled to plan for the future by the looking at alternative of sources of energy like community based solar electricity generation and to inform everyone of the grants available to make their homes more energy efficient."
The Castledermot native has earned a national and international reputation as a successful woodturner. Self-taught and self-employed, he creates award winning wood sculptures from his workshop on Castledermot's Main Street.