Joe Behan - Independent Councillor - Wicklow County Council

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General Election Statement

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General Election Statement
February 2015

I will contest the next General Election as an Independent Candidate and I ask you to consider placing your trust in me.

I believe that now more than ever people are keen to support candidates who will follow through on their stated policies and who will not be bound by a party whip. Many constituents have told me that the main reason they will not support any of the mainstream parties in the next election is that the party candidates will promise literally anything to get into power but as soon as they are safely installed in Government, their commitments turn to dust. In the Election of 2011, Fine Gael and Labour candidates were elected on policies which promised, among other measures, to protect child benefit, to refuse any further finance to bailed out banks and to protect vulnerable people in our society. In fact, those very same candidates, who are now Fine Gael and Labour TDs, supported a Government which deliberately broke those commitments and scarcely explained their actions not to mention apologised for their betrayal. This betrayal occurred simply because their party’s need for power overwhelmed all other considerations and the people’s needs were ignored.

If you elect me, I will always remain true to you, the people, whom I hope to represent. I will answer to you, the people, rather than a party whip. I will work night and day to ensure that decisions made by Government are fair and just and the needs of the people of Ireland, young and old, come first.

I passionately believe in protecting the young and older people from the underhand and savage attacks by this Government.

In the past three years, older people have been hit time after time with cuts to their income and entitlements and only last week came the news that Government officials were discussing the option of cutting old age and widows pensions in the recent Budget. Thankfully, this hasn’t happened yet but it is clear that older people are once again in the firing line and I for one will resist to the bitter end any further attempt to penalise and target the very people who built up this nation, who went without material comforts to provide for their families and who are entitled now to live out the remainder of their lives in peace and contentment.

Similarly, as a school principal, I see the effect of continuing austerity on the education of our young people at all levels. Class sizes are increasing, supports for students with special educational needs are continually cut and school funding is now so low that schools rely heavily on the fundraising and voluntary donations of already hard pressed parents. I don’t believe that is what parents wish for their children and I don’t believe this is the kind of society the Irish people want. If you elect me I will fight, fight and fight again to reverse the education cuts which are so detrimental to the future of our young people.

Many families are now stressed beyond breaking point because of the housing shortage in our county and I have seen first-hand the conditions of overcrowding, uncertainty and fear which this crisis is causing. The Government says it has a solution but the shocking truth is that their solution means the construction of a small number of council houses and the rest of the housing necessary will be provided by way of enormous subsidies to private landlords, with permanent insecurity for those who are not allocated a Council house. It is incredible that national politicians representing us have been so silent on this most fundamental issue of human rights and if I am elected I will not rest until the goal of secure housing for families or individuals is attainable for all our people.

I will campaign tirelessly to encourage the provision of lasting employment as well as seeking to ensure that the exploitative philosophy of zero hours contracts is challenged every step of the way.

I will work with communities all over this constituency to make a society we can all be happy to belong to and where no-one is left behind.

I ask for your trust and support in the next election, whenever it comes, and I will, in return, give you every ounce of my energy, commitment and service to ensure that you and your loved ones can live a life of basic contentment now with a future for your children and security for your older years.

Joe Behan
Independent Candidate for Wicklow/East Carlow.

Article from

8 February 2015

Serving the people of County Wicklow since 1985 |

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