Carrick-on-Suir’s political leaders are to accord Senator Denis Landy a civic reception to honour him as the first ever public representative from Carrick-on-Suir to be elected to the upper house of the Oireachtas.
Members of Carrick-on-Suir Town Council voted unanimously at their monthly meeting on Monday night to accord the new Labour senator the local authority’s highest honour.
Councillors passed votes of congratulations to their former colleague, who was elected to the Seanad’s Administrative Panel achieving the fifth highest votes out of the 19 candidates in the race.
The Labour Party will hold a convention in the next few weeks to select the party’s nominees to be co-opted onto the Carrick-on-Suir Town Council and South Tipperary Co. Council seats Denis Landy held up to his election to the Seanad.
Senator Landy’s elevation to the Seanad represents a significant boost for Carrick-on-Suir, particularly as he is a member of a one of the coalition parties of government.
Carrick-on-Suir’s location on the southern border of the South Tipperary constituency and straddling the boundaries of three counties has made it very difficult for public representatives from the town to get elected to the Dail or Seanad over the years.
Many in Carrick-on-Suir feel the absence of such political influence in the corridors of power in Leinster House hasn’t helped the unemployment blackspot town when it comes to securing extra investment and job opportunities.
Mayor of Carrick-on-Suir Cllr Richie O’Neill, who proposed that Sen Landy by accorded a civic reception at the Council meeting on Monday, told The Nationalist it was marvellous for Carrick-on-Suir to have a representative in the Oireachtas and expressed the hope Sen. Landy would fight hard on the town’s behalf in the Seanad.
“He is a hardworking public representative and I wish him the best of luck. My fellow councillors and I are all delighted for him and the town, and most importantly the people of the town are delighted. I hope he will go on to bigger things in the next general election and win a Dail seat.”
Senator Landy certainly sees his election to the Seanad as reviving his prospects of running for a Dail seat for Labour again. He ran in two Dail elections for Labour in 2001 and 2002 but was unsuccessful on both occasions.
“I certainly have ambitions to run for the Dail but again that is a matter for the local Labour party organisation,” he said.
He said it was a great honour for Carrick-on-Suir to have an Oireachtas member, particularly in the current economic climate and with the unemployment situation. He hoped to put to good use his connections with all the Labour government ministers to help Carrick-on-Suir and the South Tipperary constituency.
“I would like to see Carrick-on-Suir getting focused on at national level for quite specific solutions to its unemployment problem, which is at the root of many of the town’s problems. Carrick-on-Suir is a great town, we just need to get more people into employment.
Senator Landy, who is from Mainstown, Carrick-on-Suir, said his priorities in the Senate will be job creation and retraining for people, who have lost their jobs
“I think we have to look outside the box in terms of job creation and help people to start their own business and help those in small business to survive.”
One job creation incentive proposal he plans to champion in the Seanad, is a scheme to offer reduced commercial rates for new businesses.
Carrick-on-Suir Town Council has attempted to introduce such a scheme locally for certain types of new enterprises setting up shop in the town but Senator Landy believes it’s something that could be rolled out nationwide.
He has been overwhelmed by the reaction in his hometown to his election. “I have been getting hundreds of text messages and phone calls of congratulations. I was at the local hurling derby and literally hundreds of people came up to congratulate me. Carrick people are very proud of the fact that they have a senator in the town. They are looking for leadership and hopefully I can deliver that.”