Shane Cassells answers our questions

 Shane Cassells

- Fianna Fail

- Meath West


People living in North Westmeath feel they don’t belong in Meath West. What would you say to the people in those areas who feel forgotten?

It’s only natural that people who find themselves in another county for a Dáil election can feel perhaps they don’t belong but I have found that the majority of people want to engage with their public reps. In particular the community groups in Clonmellon and Castlepollard have developed excellent action plans for their towns and were extremely anxious to work with us. We are working with these groups and Westmeath County Council towards their implementation. Equally the large town of Delvin has a great community spirit that can be assisted through properly directed town regeneration funding.”

Home help is an issue that people in the area are concerned with. Many are unable to get hours, while carers are not being paid for their time on the road. What measures would you / your party introduce to help alleviate this issue? 

It’s one of the biggest issues that we face every week in our office in Athboy and we would have a large number of people from Delvin, Collinstown and Clonmellon coming into us in Athboy seeking assistance. It’s hugely frustrated when a person is actually approved for hours but then told by the HSE their is no help to provide that care. We will provide an additional five million hours of home care support at a cost of €260m. We will also develop a ‘Carers Guarantee’ proposal that will provide a core basket of services to carers across the country regardless of where they live. This measure will cost €3.4m.” 

What would you / your party do to tackle the issue of cars speeding on the N52 especially through Delvin and Clonmellon?

 “Supporting local councils to tackle issues such as speeding would be a key issue for me as our spokesperson on local government. Our local government sector has been starved of funding over the past decade and with proper investment we can tackle issues such as this.“

North Westmeath is a rural area, with a lack of public transport, local amenities and poor roads, what would you / your party do to improve the quality of life in the area? 

This government has all but closed rural Ireland. People living outside of the M50 have no public transport options and it’s hammering quality of life. We will expand rural transport and also provide subsidies to rural hackney drivers help them meet insurance costs at a capped cost of €6.5m. On roads we will increase road maintenance by €147m.”

Residents in the area, have been hit with a number of water boil notices. What are you / your party going to do to improve the supply to Irish Water customers? 

 “It is not acceptable if Irish Water are not providing a drinkable product to customers and the issues faced in areas across the country in respect of boil water notices need to be sorted. Investment from the Custom House in addition to Irish Water management delivering on their remit needs to be implemented.”

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