Labour Blog

Labour Blog


Posted on May 21, 2009 at 05:06 PM

Women candidates - Niamh McGowan (Dunshaughlin), Elena Secas (Castleconnell), Lisa Burke (Athlone) and Margaret Guijt Lawlor (Emo)
Niamh McGowan (Dunshaughlin), Elena Secas (Castleconnell), Lisa Burke (Athlone) and Margaret Guijt Lawlor (Emo)

Over the next two weeks we will be profiling some of our bright, new and dynamic candidates from around the country. In this post we will be highlighting some of our first time women candidates.

Click here for a full listing of all women candidates

Niamh McGowan was born and bred in Ratoath, where both her parents taught in Ratoath National School.

Niamh is one of our candidates for Ashbourne, Ratoath, Dunshaughlin and Dunboyne.

Niamh McGowan (Dunshaughlin)

Being a working mum of two young children, Niamh has a good understanding of the needs and concerns of many people and families across south Meath.

She is a barrister specialising in employment, labour and equality law

She says: "I believe we have to do more to improve the quality of life of people in south Meath, and Meath County Council has a central role to play in that.

"If elected I will strive to ensure that Meath County Council delivers the services, facilities and supports which the people and communities of south Meath need and deserve."

You can check out her website here.

Lisa Burke (Athlone)

Lisa Burke is a candidate in Athlone and is a full-time carer. Through her work she is particularly passionate about looking after the more vulnerable in our communities.

She is mum to three children ranging in age from nine months to 10 years old.

She says: "I feel strongly that services for the more vulnerable in our society are available to them, not just in theory but in reality. Issues such as planning, anti social behaviour and lack of services need to be addressed and rectified.

"I would like to see more social and affordable housing, facilities for the youth in both Moate and Athlone."

Contesting the Local Elections for Laois County Council is Portarlington native Margaret Guijt-Lawlor. Margaret lived abroad for many years before returing home five years ago with her family.

Upon her return Margaret threw herself into community work and has chalked up an impressive amount of community work including the Portarlington Town Forum, Special Olympics, the St Patrick's Day parade committee and the local rugby club.

Margaret Guijt Lawlor (Emo)

Speaking about her decision to stand in the Local Elections Margaret said: "One of the deciding factors for me to run was the decision by the County Council, supported by our local councillors to rezone three areas of flood plains in Portarlington for development.

"Certainly in light of the consistent flooding we have had over the past year and the thousands of euros in damages to houses and property in the town, it has become apparent that this decision would have a disastrous affect should it be allowed to happen.

"I will be advocating for this decision to be reversed and more attention to be focused on better drainage throughout the county so we can protect all our existing homes and properties from further flood damage."

Elena Secas is a candidate for Castleconnell and is originally from Moldova where she was a journalist.

Since coming to Ireland in 2001 she works in administration and previously worked as a translator.

Elena Secas (Castleconnell)

She explains: "During my journalistic career in Moldova, politics had been part of my job. Getting involved in politics here challenged me a lot. As a result, I joined the Labour Party in 2006.

"By helping people with language barrier in various problems, I have become aware of some of the issues in my area.

"I want to campaign for the provision of better facilities for the young people and better services for the elderly, based on the needs of the people in the local area."

Next time we will be profiling some of younger candidates, so please check back soon.

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