Disability rights campaigner joins Labour
A local disability rights campaigner is set to run as a Labour Party candidate in the next local elections.
Headford native Eamon Walsh previously contested the 2011 General Election in Galway West as an Independent candidate and will now seek a seat on Galway County Council, representing the Tuam Electoral Area, in 2014.
As Chairperson of Hope4Disability, a parent lobby group for people with intellectual disabilities, Mr Walsh was instrumental in organising the mass public protest held in Galway in July 2010 against cutbacks to disability services.
The local businessman, who garnered 1,481 first preference votes in the General Election, said this week that he is delighted to have the Labour Party’s backing and support.
“To be given the opportunity to run with their support is fantastic. I am looking forward to doing that and working hard to improve the lot of the community of Headford and also very much continue my disability campaigning, which is both local and national,” he said.
“The Labour Party is one that embodies equity and fairness and that’s something very close to my heart, especially from a disability point of perspective so I will be looking to influence both internally within the party and in the broader political sphere to ensure that we provide the best services that we can for people with disabilities and improve their lives and allow them to be as independent as they can be.”
Mr Walsh also said that Headford needs strong representation in order to maximise its share of the council budget. “I know the issues affecting people in the town and I want to work to ensure these issues are prioritised. I will be holding information and advice clinics in town and I hope get feedback on what I can do for the people of this town and surrounding areas,” he said.
Galway East Deputy Colm Keaveney, who officially launched the Headford Labour Party branch on Monday, said that there is a “strong, vibrant” Labour team headed up by Councillor Shaun Cuniffe in the Tuam Electoral Area and that he has nominated Mr Walsh as a Labour Party representative to compliment the team.
“I am delighted to welcome a candidate of Eamon’s calibre; he has a strong background in campaigning on lots of issues particularly campaigning and advocacy for disability rights. At a time when this Government has allocated an additional €35 million towards disability, this is a crucial time for a strong voice,” said Deputy Keaveney.