*Pictured: Violet-Anne Wynne & Donna Deirdre McGettigan
Enough is enough as far as Donna Deirdre McGettigan is concerned with the people of Clare hungry for change in how local government in the county is managed.
Prior to Christmas, the Belfast native was selected as Sinn Féin’s candidate in the Ennis Municipal District for the local elections. Having been active in the party within the county in various roles, Donna revealed that her decision to run for office is a case of practising what she has been preaching about female involvement in politics. “I’ve been trying to persuade women to step forward for political roles and it ended up then that I had to take my own advice that we need more women in politics, I feel I’m a good enough person to go into politics, I tend to care an awful lot about people and anyone that knows me knows that I care about the underdog and everybody deserves a chance”.
In the early 1990s, Donna lived in Ennis while working at Cahercalla Hospital, she returned to Derry for a period of six and a half years and has lived in Shannon since 1997. McGettigan told The Clare Echo that she is confident that despite her not living in the District she is running in her profile is still known. “I’m not worried at all because I shop in Ennis, I would be in and out of Ennis, it’s not like I’m a complete unknown coming down from Dublin or something. Ennis is our capital town so it’s all part of Clare. Politically I have been in and out of Ennis campaigning and knocking on doors so I’m not a complete unknown”.
On top of her contribution to the party, Donna has campaigned actively against the water charges. As she prepares to start canvassing, issues of local importance will be the forty six year old’s focus. “The next coming months I’m going to be asking what their local issues are, water, housing, health, the A&E really needs to be looked at in Ennis, the amount of people from Ennis that are being shipped off to Limerick which is already overcrowded as it is, I know a lot of people that just don’t want to go into A&Es they are sick and need A&E but they just don’t want to go in because they don’t want to be left there whereas if we had the Ennis A&E open again that would not only alleviate the problem in Clare but also alleviate the problem in Limerick”.
At present, Cllr Mike McKee is Sinn Féin’s sole representative on Clare County Council but Donna maintained that there is a mood for change within the county which will benefit the party. “I think we’ve a great team all over Clare, people want change, they’re sick of watching their friends become homeless or watching people die on trolleys or the streets, people are really sick of this, I think people really want change and we’re the ones that are going to deliver it”.