*Therese Doohan and Cllr Gabriel Keating.

MULLAGH’S THERESE Doohan (FG) will be contesting June’s local elections running alongside Cllr Gabriel Keating (FG) on the Fine Gael ticket in the West Clare Municipal District.

Both Therese and Gabriel were the only nominees to represent the party following a selection convention held on Friday night.

First elected in 2009, Cllr Keating has prevailed in the 2014 and 2019 local elections since leaving the financial services industry. The Cross native is the President of Naomh Eoin GAA club and was the first Clare man to receive the presidential award for his contribution to the GAA.

Keating was a key figure in the 2011 opening of Loop Head Lighthouse as a visitor attraction, the project has created sixteen jobs and has already created an income to the local economy of €2.5 million.

A support worker with the Brothers of Charity, Therese was approached by Fine Gael to run in the 2024 local elections. Originally from Miltown Malbay, she is the daughter of PJ (RIP) and Kathleen Downes.

She emigrated in the 1980s but returned to West Clare in 1994 when her father’s health began to deteriorate, she had been working in Lister Hospital in Stevenage prior to this. Work with Bank of Ireland brought her to Kilrush and beyond the county but she later ran her own business, An Scileán in Miltown Malbay. After meeting her husband, Francis they settled in Mullagh and had four daughters, Rebecca, Claudia, Jessica and Joanna.

After Fine Gael figures contacted her to gauge her interest, it was her family with whom she first discussed the notion with. “Any life in the public eye affects everyone in the family, they have always been very supportive of me. No matter where you stick your head up there is always someone ready to knock you down. I felt it was an opportunity for me because my family is somewhat reared with our youngest just off to college. This is a time of my life which I can dedicate to people, I’m a good listener and I’m able to work with people to identify what is needed, I’ve a fair idea of somethings that are needed but you have to sit down and listen to people to see what can be improved”.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Therese commented, “I’m new to politics but I’ve done an awful lot of volunteering even when I was living in England”. She remains involved with Kilmurry Ibrickane ladies football club, having previously served as Chairperson and Treasurer. Alongside James Egan, she founded the Mullagh Youth Club which began with only 26 persons attending and grew to draw over 150 from Miltown Malbay, Kilmurry Ibrickane, Kilmihil, Cooraclare and Inagh.

During her eight year term as Chairperson of the Mullagh Community Sports Field, she was central to many development projects including an outdoor accessible gym, a running track, lighting and meeting rooms. She is currently the registrar on the Executive of the Clare Ladies Gaelic Football Association, having also been Central Council Delegate plus a stint as Assistant Secretary at a provincial level.

“I felt it was a natural progression having volunteered all my life,” Therese said of her foray into politics. “I’ve spent nearly all of my adult life volunteering, I was the Chair of the Darling Girl for Clare and I was on the pastoral council in Kilmurry Ibricakane, the ICA, the Irish Girl Guides, I’ve volunteered with the Mullagh Horse and Cattle Show and was part of the Marty Party in Mullagh,” she added.

Therese stated, “People have asked me why I’m interested in politics but I’m very passionate about my community and West Clare, I want to try make it a place for people to live and bring up their families. Young people are our resource into the future, my motivation is to improve the lives of people”.

Investment in rural Ireland by Fine Gael was praised by Therese, she felt the addition of more remote working hubs would allow people to rear their families in West Clare. “Everything hasn’t been done right but Fine Gael is working hard to try do it right, farming families are a passion for me and in West Clare the infrastructure needs help, we need investment for young people with mental health services but also for ageing community and accessibility for people with disabilities is most important. With tourism we need to bring more in, tourism is fantastic, we have some fantastic places here but we need to make it more accessible and retain more people all year round as opposed to on holidays. We can’t just be a summer destination”.

While the campaign has yet to properly kick off, Doohan is aware of what lies ahead. “Anyone going forward it is hard enough because you’re putting yourself out there for ridicule, I’d like to see more women involved in politics, women have a huge role to play and a lot to bring to the table, I pride myself on being able to work with everybody”.

Related News

ennis courthouse tent 24-02-21 3
Judge imposes suspended prison term on Mullagh 'family man' for child porn offences
shannon airport 1
Rail link to Shannon Airport must be a priority as Cabinet sign off on €30bn investment strategy
joe carey newmarket on fergus community forum 02-12-19 22
Announcement imminent on political future of Joe Carey
DSC01362 copy
John-Joe setting a high Banner with support for Clare
Latest News
ennis courthouse tent 24-02-21 3
Judge imposes suspended prison term on Mullagh 'family man' for child porn offences
paul flanagan 2
Flanagan backing up the Banner belief
shannon airport 1
Rail link to Shannon Airport must be a priority as Cabinet sign off on €30bn investment strategy
clare v kilkenny 06-07-24 brian lohan 4
Lohan behold - 'his character is moulded within the team'
clare v cork 24-07-21 4 patrick horgan
Horgan chasing shot at history
Premium
joe carey newmarket on fergus community forum 02-12-19 22
Announcement imminent on political future of Joe Carey
clare v cork 28-04-24 niall o'leary mark rodgers 1
The Water Break: Start as you mean to go on to decide whether Clare or Cork are All-Ireland champions
gerard gunning
Ennis plumber pleads guilty to careless driving causing death of Broadford GAA coach
clare v tipperary 26-05-24 shane o'donnell 3
Everything has changed since 2013 for star man O'Donnell
donie fitzpatrick medal
Stories behind medals of Clare's 1914 heroes captivates attention 110 years on

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.

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.

Scroll to Top