*Kevin Hassett (right) pictured with Niall Boylan who has also declared to run for Independent Ireland. 

KILKEE dairy and beef farmer, Kevin Hassett (II) has said the N68 is “an embarrassment to the people trying to bring business to West Clare” while launching his bid to win a seat on Clare County Council.

Kevin is an Independent Ireland candidate and will be vying to win one of the five seats in the Kilrush local electoral area.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, he outlined why he decided to put his name forward. “We feel we can deliver change and give power to the people, we’ve people first policies and we’ve common sense policies with hard work and a pursuit of positive change for the benefit of Clare and beyond”.

He continued, “There’s a crisis in housing and healthcare coupled with new crises on education, immigration and a green agenda which seems intent on blaming the agriculture industry”.

Incumbent councillors are not tuned in, Kevin told The Clare Echo. “Health farming and the N68 are major priorities for me”. He said the application from Aughinish Alumina to the Environmental Protection Agency for a Dumping at Sea licence in the Shannon Estuary is a major concern, “our Estuary is precious as is people’s health both sides of the Shannon and Eamon Ryan’s time as part of this Government would be better spent trying to address this than by trying to close down farming”.

“Being honest I don’t believe our councillors are tuned in or on the ball at the moment,” Kevin stated. He claimed TII’s budget for Clare from 2016 to 2024 is €34m compared with €422m in Mayo and €220m in Kerry.

Married with two children, Kevin said opting to go on the ballot paper “is the hardest decision in my life to put myself forward”. He added, “I’m a busy person as it is. I do love politics, I have represented farmers for years, I’m on the Kerry advisory board and recently with the Dairy Munster producer’s organisation”.

Formed in November, the Independent Ireland had Kevin as one of its early members. “I was a third generation Fine Gaeler but we’re so disillusioned with the Government we have, they have no accountability, they have no transparency, they seem intent on delivering everything against the wishes of the Irish people”.

Independent Ireland can offer “a direct alternative to the present governance of this country,” he insisted. Despite viewing the national picture, Hassett felt this feeling would influence the local elections on June 7th. “people are upset with what has gone in the country and county, I can see it with my own friends and family”.

He points to two of the Green Ministers for causing this anger. “I believe this Government have let off Roderic O’Gorman and Eamon Ryan off with two cheque books, them cheques are being signed by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, the ideology of growing our population on already over-stretched services from Gardai to nurses and doctors is absolute madness and against the people’s wishes”.

When it was put to Kevin that his viewpoints were more similar to a person considering running for the Dáil rather than the Council, he responded “don’t go there”. He added, “This is what the people want and this is what I’ll give the people want, this is what is important to the people, this is the two most important elections coming up in the history of the State”.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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