Sitting Fianna Fail councillor Ronan McKenna will not contest next year's local elections in the Trim area while his sister-in-law Aisling Dempsey was among three female candidates chosen at the party's selection convention last night.
Daughter of former Minister Noel Dempsey and sister of Ronan McKenna's wife Aileen, Aisling was selected along with Vera Kelly from Enfield and Sinead Geraghty from Ballinabrackey. Cllr McKenna who was first elected to Trim Town Council in 2009 and subsequently to Meath County Council in 2014, withdrew from the convention.
He said: “I’m sad to be leaving my council seat where I hope I have made a contribution over the past decade. Seeing the quality of candidate going forward to contest the local election I am confident that the future is bright for the Fianna Fáil party in Meath. I will of course remain involved in local politics, not least in supporting Aisling and the other candidates in the upcoming election. I’d like to thank the people of the Trim Municipal Area for their kind support in my time working in the town and county councils.”
Speaking at the selection convention, Aisling Dempsey said:"Because I was raised in a political household I learned at an early age that politics is more than a job or a career. My involvement in election campaigns showed me the struggles people go through everyday just to build a family, life or career.
"I’m commuting to work, working a full time job, I’m a wife and mother to one happy little fella. I’m very lucky to have a great family and support network. But thousands of people struggle silently everyday just to live a normal life. The local government system should be there to support people."
If elected to Meath County Council, Aisling says she wants to play her part in trying to ensure that the system works for the people. "I want our children to grow up in a safe, pleasant environment, be able to buy a house where they grow up, be able to access medical assistance and to be able to get secure employment. I want young people to be more optimistic about their future than we are at the moment”.
She continued; "All of the candidates here tonight are women. Politics is changing and we’re changing politics. I think we should all get that message out there that as a party; we have re-built, we are growing, we are the modern party that Ireland needs now to build a caring society. Whatever the result, I hope that as candidates, together, we can get that positive story out there, and encourage or inspire more women to step forward and bring their skills and commitment to helping change the system”.