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GE2020 THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Cathal Crowe in Cratloe

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*Cllr Pat Daly & Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy join Cllr Cathal Crowe in Ennis. 

His countywide profile has increased during his time as Cathaoirleach (Mayor) of Clare County Council but Cllr Cathal Crowe (FF) is well known to the people of Cratloe.

A member of Clare County Council since 2004, Cathal has represented the people of Cratloe for all but five years since then, that being from 2009 to 2014 when his area was moved into the Killaloe Municipal District. His service isn’t forgotten at the doors with people giving a mention of Crowe’s monthly clinics in Cratloe and his presence at Community Council meetings.

“I have made a lot of friends in Cratloe,” Cathal admitted as he tours Portdrine. Shannon Airport and hospitals are the most common items brought up at the doors in Cratloe. How Crowe has used to title of Cathaoirleach to highlight the cause of Shannon is praised by homeowners.

Individuals working at the Airport shared their concerns with the aspiring TD of the current situation at Shannon which had an eight percent drop in passenger numbers last year. If successful in the election, Cathal had earmarked the current capital expenditure being carried by Shannon Group that needs redressing. He tells the employee that there has been “serious decline” during Shane Ross’ time as Minister for Transport.

Health care and the difficult conditions at which staff must work in are detailed by one University Hospital Limerick nurse. She is adamant more bodies are urgently needed to help staff cope with the present situation. He referred to proposals to recruit 5,000 nurses and add 5 million hours of home-help. The nurse is sceptical of the success having heard so many false promises but is appreciative of the discussion and is intrigued by Crowe’s suggestion that salary incentive should be in place for nurses that take on additional managerial duties.

Health is a feature from every canvass that Cathal has been on and is the most common item for all candidates. “South of Ennis, Shannon Airport features hugely,” he recounted. A woman working in a nearby factory shared her concern of the lack of traffic, “Our existence depends on Shannon Airport”.

A number of doors knocked on feature members of a group that recently travelled to Portugal on a golf-trip. They admitted that their time away was brilliant but the one blight being “we couldn’t fly from Shannon”.

Though not present in the team of eleven canvassers in Cratloe, Cathal confirmed that the trio of Podge Collins, Diarmuid Ryan and Niall Gilligan have been doing their bit on the ground for the campaign.

Cathal’s work in Cratloe is not forgotten, he is geographically close to the area and the positive reaction is to expected. The decisive factor in his election bid is how he fares in areas further afield.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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