Laois - Eoin Barry


Eoin Barry
Graiguecullen / Portarlington 

Contact: 087 741 2748


What issues do you think are most important to people in your electoral area?

The most important issue for people in our electoral area is developing public services that meet the needs of our growing population.  In places like Killeshin many new houses have been built in recent years but there is no playground available for the young children living there. In Newtown Crettyardthe area lacks a central community centre for meetings and events. In Portarlington further regeneration is needed for the town with more services for young people. Finally in Graiguecullen we see many new houses in development but the school is full and the bus routes don’t connect to the new estates.
We can’t just build houses alone, we also need to develop communities. We need to learn the lessons of the past and plan for the services we need along with building the houses required. 

What issues are coming up on the doorstep?

During the campaign the issue of road safety and speeding is coming up regularly. It is a sad reality that more lives are being lost on our roads now and the in many villages issues of speeding are coming up regularly.
In Ballyninan residents tell me of their fear crossing the main road at times, in Killeshin the speeding is regular and many people avoid using Joe’s road because of the issue. In Newtown and Mayo the speeds outside the school are far too high and unsustainable.
Other issues people bring up are the challenge of young adults to get a home, the difficulty in accessing health care or getting GP appointments and the need to revitalise towns. 

What projects in the area do you plan on championing if you are elected to the council?

I would like to see a new emphasis on mental health throughout Laois. There are many ways our county council can help people in mental health difficulties. Firstly the council can help by improving access to outdoor recreation facilities. Such as walks and community exercise equipment. Or we could develop reading well programmes in our local libraries to give people access to important self help and other information.
I feel the council can help with developing community centres and spaces for people to address the social isolation that is often the cause of many difficulties. This could be particularly helpful for farmers and remote workers. 
Finally to address the issues related to youth mental health we will need significant investment in youth work and youth facilities so that young people have healthy social outlets throughout their county.

What are your ‘red-line’ issues when it comes to budget votes?

My number one priority when is comes to the budet is ensuring that people living in Graiguecullen Portartlington get their fair share.
There has been a total failure by our councillors to deliver for people in Graiguecullen Portarlington over the last five years. All you have to do is look at grants and funding that has arrived in the county and where that money has gone from active travel to funding for our roads.

Worse we see very little investment in county Laois by the IDA – its no wonder we have workers commuting the furthest distances in Ireland. We can see the same in Stradbally where there has been little investment in the community despite the significant developments in the town in recent years. 
Ensuring good quality investment in the area is my key red line in the budget votes.

What steps would you like to see to tackle the housing crisis?

Tackle the scourge of vacant decaying buildings around our county. As I travel around canvassing I see many properties still sitting empty five years later. This should be a matter of shame for all of us and it is the number one way we can quickly tackle the issue in laois.

I would also like to see further emphasis and development of trades and apprenticeships  in laois. We simply do not have a enough workers to meet the challenge of the housing crisis.

Finally the housing crisis has a knock on effect on anyone looking for a tradesperson to help with a job or repair something in their home. I would like to see a council lead subscription so that people can access this type of service. A similar model has worked well in Kildare and its one I’d like to see in Laois. 

Why should people vote for you?

I believe I bring a fresh perspective to problems and how to address them. As a trained family therapist and social worker and someone who has worked in the area of mental health for over 11 years I feeel I have a good insight into the difficulties people are facing. I feel that my previous experience as a youth worker in Graiguecullen has also helped me to learn how to work collaboratively with people and to bring about solutions for everyone. 



Download Our App