*Keith McNamara. Photograph: Nev Bedford

SHANNON NATIVE, Keith McNamara (IND) has thrown his name into the race for the local elections.

Keith will be running as an Independent candidate and is of the view that the voice of Shannon Town has been neglected within Clare County Council.

A father of three children all under the age of eight, Keith works with Air Nav Ireland based in Ballycasey. He has previously attended St Conaire’s NS where he is now part of the Parents Council, St Patrick’s Comprehensive and IT Sligo where he completed a Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Leisure.

On his decision to contest the local elections in the Shannon Municipal District on June 7th, Keith said, “I’ve been threatening this since I was in secondary school, I’ve never been a member of a political party but I have a lot of views”.

“I’m very passionate about where I come from, the way the town is not maintained, the state of the road and the park, I decided I’d run now and rather do something when my children are young instead of when they’re a bit older and they could be all over the world. The time has come for change and not change for the sake of change, some of the issues need to be brought to the forefront, accessibility and road maintenance, these are the things we speak about on the sidelines at matches and in the town centre but they need to be acted on,” the thirty seven year old said.

Wolfe Tones GAA Club, Shannon Athletics Club, Shannon Community Games and Limerick Lawn Tennis Club are among the groups Keith is currently involved with while he previously volunteered teaching English classes to Ukrainians up until twelve months ago.

Initial reaction from his close friends and family on his decision to run has been “very positive”. He told The Clare Echo that people are “very vocal to me about the state of the town and what it is like on their door step like Aidan Park and Finian Park”.

With sitting representatives, Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND), Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) plus challengers Tony Mulcahy (IND), Pat Barry (IND) and Keith, there is the potential that five Shannon Town candidates will be vying for election. McNamara acknowledged the prospect of all five getting elected was very slim, “it’s very difficult the way the Municipal District is laid out it would be very hard, in the last few years we’ve struggled to get two elected from Shannon Town, it would be great to have three Shannon Town residents elected to the Council”.

On what he needs to do to be one of the successful candidates, Keith said, “It is about bringing the issues that matter to people, local elections are about local issues, people I’ve spoken to feel Shannon is neglected, there are some wonderful things done by the Council and councillors in the last five years but in general people feel Shannon’s voice is neglected. They feel the voice is less represented within the County Council”.

He believed former Senator Mulcahy who is now contesting the local election was an example of a strong voice that Shannon previously had on the local authority. “Sean Lemass is one person I always looked up to and Brendan O’Regan for what they did for the region. I might not agree with her views but Patricia McCarthy was a strong voice for Shannon, Tony Mulcahy represented Shannon well before and is back again, it is more about the political voice than the views”.

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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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