My name is Aaron Byrne and I am the Local Area Representative for the Kells LEA. Born and raised in Kells, it’s an honour to be selected by the Labour Party to represent my local area. Having lived my whole life in Kells I am acutely aware of the issues that are affecting the area and I am passionate about working with others in the community to help resolve them.
I graduated from Trinity College in 2014 with a degree in Philosophy and Political Science and since then I have been working as an IT professional in Damastown. I married my wife Linda in 2017 and we welcomed our first son Tadhg in February 2020. I have been active in the Labour Party in Kells since 2013 and have been involved in many local and National campaigns including the Marriage Equality Referendum, the campaign to re-elect President Higgins and the referendum to Repeal the 8th Amendment. I have also been involved in many local and general elections including standing as a candidate in the Kells area in the 2019 local elections.
My Priorities are:
The waiting lists for social housing in the area are far too long. The council needs to commit to more development in order to meet demand. I also believe that increased investment in bringing unused housing back into the council stock is vital to revitalising towns like Athboy, Kells and Oldcastle that are plagued by abandoned and derelict units. There needs to be a focus on community rather than developer led private residential housing. This will ensure the right type of housing is built where it’s needed and residents aren’t left with a host of issues once the developer moves on.
I commute daily to Dublin and know first hand the strain this puts on workers. I’ve also seen the benefit that remote working brings. We need a multifaceted approach to solving this problem which includes:
- Greater public transport options, in particular the extension of rail lines further into the county.
- Development of remote working hubs to increase opportunities for people to work closer to home.
- A four day week for workers to reduce the number of commuting days required.
This is also a largely rural area and development of a robust rural transport network is essential to ensure no communities are left behind.
The climate crisis is real and it is among the greatest threats facing our society. Meath is a county with a large commuting population. Tackling issues with public transport will go a long way to improving our carbon footprint. But there is a lot more we can do. We need to grow and improve our recycling centres. We need to tackle illegal dumping. There are also many areas crying out for public parks green spaces but development is tied up with other commercial or residential plans. This needs to change so that environmental projects and green spaces are not a secondary concern.
Strong, Transparent and Accountable Local Government
The end of Town Councils was a mistake that has cost rural ireland greatly. The variety of issues facing rural Ireland at present need direct action at a community level and Town Councils can help provide those actions. It’s also important that local government is transparent and accountable at all levels so that you know what’s happening and why.
I stood for election in 2019 because I wanted to do whatever I could to help my local area. That campaign gave me an incredible opportunity to meet workers and their families right across the constituency and hear about the issues facing them. I am excited to continue that work as a Local Area Representative and if you have an issue that you need addressed or a concern you want to raise I am here to help. Please see my contact details below if you would like to get in touch or get involved with the Labour Party in Meath.