Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Press Release - Labour confirm Looney for Tallaght Central Ward

The Labour Party have confirmed 25 year-old Dermot Looney, a Greenhills-based community campaigner, as a candidate for the new Tallaght Central Ward in next year’s local elections. Looney had previously been selected for the old Terenure-Rathfarnham Ward as a replacement for retiring Councillor Eamonn Walsh (pictured with Looney, left).

Following the extensive boundary revisions for South Dublin County Council in June, Looney has now been chosen for the Tallaght Central Ward, which extends from Templeogue in the east through Greenhills, Kilnamanagh, Tallaght Village, Kingswood, Belgard, Springfield and Fettercairn. Looney’s running mates have been confirmed as Templeogue-based Pamela Kearns and Tymon-based Mick Duff.

The Labour Youth activist, who has a long record of involvement in local development and public services campaigns, is the youngest Labour candidate in Ireland and hit the headlines last month with his call to lower the voting age for local and European elections from 18 to 16. He is also making waves online, where his campaign website, blog and activism on social networking sites such as bebo and Facebook are opening up new channels of communication with voters.

“I am deeply honoured to have been chosen by the Labour Party for the new ward of Tallaght Central,” noted Looney. “Despite the name, there are considerable parts of Dublin 12 and Dublin 6w in this new ward and it is crucial that people in Greenhills, Templeogue and other areas outside what is understood as Tallaght receive the best representation in their new context.”

“Plenty of local candidates have complained about the boundary changes but it is my belief that politics, not geography, should form the basis of the campaign over the next 10 months. I stand above all for the expansion of public services, for an expansion of local democracy and for community-led solutions to development issues - and I want those who share those values to join up with our campaign for change,” Looney said.

“I am overwhelmed with the response of local people to my campaign so far and am confident that Labour will live up to the challenge in the months ahead with three candidates rooted in the lives of their communities.”