A long-standing Fianna Fail man from Goatenbridge has announced he has left the party to run as an independent in the May local election.
Martin Lonergan will contest the election in the new Clonmel/ Cahir County Council electoral area as part of the Independent group lead by Deputy Mattie McGrath.
Mr Lonergan (32) announced his decision last week. He had been a member of Fianna Fail since 1999 but recently resigned from that party after failing to secure a nomination at the local convention, last November.
Speaking to supporters, Mr. Lonergan said that although he regretted having to resign from the party that he had actively supported for almost 15 years, the time had come to join a team that welcomed energetic and open-minded candidates while at the same time sharing many of the same principles of his former party. Mr. Lonergan said he was privileged to have the full support of Deputy McGrath, someone whom he had known for all of his adult lifetime including their mutual time in the Fianna Fail party. Mr. Lonergan stated that he had ‘learned the political ropes’ while working for Deputy McGrath after he was first elected to the Dáil and that he continues to do so after recently returning to Mattie’s Clonmel office in a part-time capacity.
Mr. Lonergan said he was anxious to begin canvassing and meet constituents to hear first-hand what voters believe are the biggest issues for the new County Council to address. He committed to adding those concerns to his own personal list of priorities that include the closing of council offices in Cahir and South Tipperary, the proposed Eirgrid pylon routes, the need for a pedestrian bridge in Ardfinnan, the need for a new industry for the old MOY ISOVER plant in Ardfinnan, along with affordable water rates and increased funding for community projects.