Aontú is the Irish for ‘unity’ and ‘agreement’

Under the leadership of Peadar Tóibiín TD, who founded the party after standing up for his core values, Aontú is now growing from strength to strength in order to stand up for your core values.

We have held energetic public meetings in every county in Ireland. 5,000 people have attended our public meetings so far and hundreds of people are joining our party every month.

We have elected reps north and south. They have left Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil, the SDLP and Independents to join us.

Aontú Representatives

SARAH O’REILLY
Cavan – Bailiborough

Sarah O’Reilly was co-opted onto Cavan County Council in 2016 and subsequently took up a position as a political administrator. Prior to her co-option, Sarah worked as a buyer for an international company in Cavan Town. Sarah worked in agriculture and civil works for 18 years before returning to education in 2010 and qualifying as an Accountant Technician in 2012. She is a member of The Castle Lake Committee, The Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB), The Joint Policing Committee (JPC), Bailieborough Community School, Cavan’s Enterprise and Economic Committee and The Garage Theatre, Monaghan. She has worked extremely hard over the last three years to improve promote and develop the community, and address the concerns of her constituents.

EMER TÓIBÍN
Meath – Navan

Emer Tóibín is married and has 4 children. She has worked as a lecturer, project manager and in business development over many years. Dissatisfaction with how Meath has continuously been left out of governmental investment and development strategy has led her to get involved in local politics. A sister of Meath West TD Peadar Toibin, she has seen at first-hand the lack of planning and investment that has stymied Meath’s growth potential. Involved as a player and coach for many years with Navan O’Mahoneys, Emer is a strong community activist and campaigner. She also played camogie at county level, and played with Navan hockey and with Navan tennis. She volunteers on the local school’s parents committee and is engaged in the Save Navan Hospital and Navan Rail link to Dublin campaigns. With your backing, Emer will represent you to the best of her ability. Not afraid to grapple with the inadequacies of our services, you can be sure that she will aim to get the results, that for so long have been denied to the royal county.

PAUL LAWLESS
Mayo – Claremorris

A 27-year-old from Knock, Paul Lawless teaches maths and PE at Ballyhaunis Community School. After playing soccer for Mayo, Connaught and the Republic of Ireland at underage level, he achieved a professional contract with Derby County FC. This led to him attaining a scholarship to study a BE.d at UCC, and an M.B.A in the USA. He is currently completing a post graduate course in mathematics in his spare time. Paul plays Gaelic football for both Aughamore GAA Club and the Mayo junior football team. Paul felt compelled to get involved in local politics to address the regional development imbalance which is hurting Mayo. He said dissatisfaction with how Mayo has continuously been left out of government investment and the devastating impact this has had on his generation of friends, led him to get involved in local politics.

JOHN PHELAN
Dublin: Rathfarnam-Templogue

Film Industry professional with a background in Accountancy and a Legal Qualification. Living in Rathfarnham and married with 2 grown up children. With deep roots in local community work over many years, he has a strong and passionate interest in my Country and what it stands for. He took an active interest in local politics running in the local elections in 2009 (Rathfarnham Ward) for Fianna Fáil. John believes that effective government needs good and active opposition and that this is something which we do not have. He is committed to a political landscape that brings all people into politics that offers a new vision and is more inclusive. For that reason he joined AONTÚ. Its core principles of LIFE, UNITY and ECONOMIC JUSTICE offer a new and vibrant platform that moves our political landscape away from the traditional approach of the past.

BRENDAN THORNHILL
Wicklow

Brendan Thornhill originally hails from Skibbereen,West Corkwhere he was reared and educated. In November 1981, at 28 years of age, he became a member of the Garda Siochana. He was stationed at Shankill and spent the last 23 years as a community Garda in Bray,Co Wicklow. In 2000 he received an Endeavour Award for his contribution to the community. He became a familiar face in Bray and was known to everyone young and old and to all groups. He retired in 2011 and was elected as a member of Wicklow Council in May 2014. He has been a great contributor to the Council, speaking on many items concerning Bray. He was Cathaoirleach of Bray MDC in 2014. He is a fluent Iriish speaker and has served on various committees such as Drugs Task Awareness, Wicklow Tourism and Wicklow Elderly Alliance. He is passionate about the future of AONTÚ.

Rosemary Shields

ROSEMARY SHIELDS
Tyrone: Fermanagh and Omagh

Cllr Rosemarie Shields is an elected representative with real strength of character and back bone. She is the third generation of elected reps in her family. She is a woman who is not afraid to stand up for her community and for what she believes in. Cllr Shields left the SDLP at the start of this year and joined Aontú in order to provide real representation to her constituents from the Mid-Tyrone ward of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.
A rural-dweller herself, she is bringing up her family in the countryside and aware of the challenges facing rural life. She has a love of and interest in the promotion of Irish language, history and culture. She is sick of political parties deciding policy at central level – as what suits in Belfast does not reflect the needs and values of the people of Tyrone. Among her chief concerns as councillor is care within the community, including caring for an ageing population and lack of health care supports. She supports the many community and voluntary efforts to fill gaps left by lack of equitable and effective service provision in rural Mid-Tyrone.

FERGAL LENNON
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

Fergal Lennon is a father of three and lives in Derrytrasna within central Craigavon District Electoral Area, but has family and friends living throughout the urban and neighbouring DEAs. Fergal has been an elected representative for the past five years within the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon council and is fully aware of the issues affecting all residents throughout the borough.

Fergal is a builder by trade and has spent more than 25 years running his own construction firm. As a business owner, Fergal is well aware of the challenges facing both the construction industry and small businesses.

Fergal is currently a member of various groups and organisations
– Board member of TADA (rural support network)
– Board Member of SOAR (rural development fund)
– Board member of Lurgan Townscape Heritage
– Vice chair of Craigavon/Brownlow Regeneration
– N.I.L.G.A Executive
– Board Member of NISMP

PETER WHELAN
Meath: Bettystown – Laytown

Peter Whelan is a businessman living and working in Slane. He, along with his wife, run the ‘Whole Hogg’s’ free range pig farm. Peter is a prominent member of the Boyne Valley Food Series which won best food destination in Ireland in 2016. Peter has been on national television and radio regularly, promoting local artisan producers and farmers in counties Meath and Louth. As Cathaoirleach of Slane’s Aontú Cumann, Peter is a prominent member of the community and has identified many key areas that need immediate action, including proper footpaths for Littlewood, a car park for Slane Village, changing the N2 Traffic Lights sequence at peak times in Kilmoon and greater security on the Hill of Slane, among many others. Peter is determined to offer those in his area the best possible representation.

JAMES DUFFY
Monaghan: Castleblaney

James Duffy was born on March 14, 1964. He is a native of Castleblayney.
He was reared by his grandparents, Mick McDonnell (known locally as Big Mick, an Ambulance driver), Mary Ellen [nee Brennan], a carer, and his parents, Philip(a garda) and Rose Duffy (a nurse). He received his education in Castleblayney Boys’ School and Our Lady’s Secondary School (Sisters of Mercy), Castleblayney. He is currently pursuing higher education. James was a member of the Castleblayney Urban District Council, from 1985-1994 and was the Chairman from 1987-88. He is presently a full-time community activist.

oliver o brien

OLIVER O’BRIEN
Wicklow: Bray

Oliver is a teacher in St. Fergal’s National School and has been for over 35 years. Originally a native of Tipperary, Oliver has always been involved in the community, particularly in youth activities since moving to Bray. He founded Fergal Ógs in 1992 and has been an avid promoter of Gaelic games in Bray since then. Having bought a new home locally, near the end of the so-called Celtic Tiger, Oliver has experienced first-hand, the situation many families find themselves in today, with issues such as negative equity and mortgage distress hanging over them. Over his 35 years of teaching and community work, Oliver has witnessed many children succeed. However, the system has failed many others, and has not allowed for their talents to come to fruition. He believes we need to have a system where the community gets what a community needs, quickly – a system that fast tracks the funding of projects to be delivered by the community for the community. Motivated by strong beliefs of equality and decency, Oliver believes a vital way to make the changes that are needed is to be involved in the decision making process at Local Government Level.

Margaret Swift

MARGARET SWIFT
Omagh

Married to Liam, Margaret is a registered nurse with a background in youth and community work. She has a keen interest in both the GAA, with other aspects of Irish culture, and is also an animal lover — being a proud owner of two rescue dogs. She cares deeply about our health and environment and, as such, is strongly opposed to gold mining – not only in the Omagh area but across Ireland too. It is a campaign that she has assisted with locally. She also has grave concerns at proposals to site a nuclear waste disposal facility in the Sperrins, as indeed any part of Ireland.
If elected, Margaret will rigorously oppose all and any effort to endanger our environment and our people through such practices. As a health worker, she is acutely concerned about extensive waiting lists, the increasing shortage of beds, related staffing issues and a lack of community care and placements. Likewise, she is concerned about access to out of hours GP services. Upgrading the A5 is also, for both herself and Aontú, a local priority – as are safer, improved roads and infrastructure in general. She will work to address all of these matters at Council level as far as can be arrived at if elected.
Nationally, as Brexit exposes the continuing impact of partition on Ireland, she feels the time is now for Ireland’s unity as a 32-county republic. With Aontú, she believes this the logical solution to the Brexit crisis, which must be built towards in the immediate term.
Ultimately, the goal and focus of Margaret’s election campaign is to provide honest representation to local people on the local issues that impact their lives, all within the context of a wider effort to create a better and more equal and just Ireland. Margaret sees a need for better politics and for better decision-making across the scope of politics, that the requirements of ordinary people might be better addressed. Politics must serve all of society, not sectional interests with undue influence, as has often been the case. With Aontú, she believes that she can fulfil this much-needed function of the democratic process, as people both locally in Omagh and Ireland, too, deserve. Come May 2, help make that a reality — on Thursday May 2, vote Swift No. 1.

DR ANN MCCLOSKEY
Ballyarnett, Derry City

I am proud to offer myself as a candidate for Aontú, a new All-Ireland political organisaiton, in the Ballyarnett Ward of my home town ofDerry.

Aontú is a party which will work for Irish Unity, for social justice, and for the right to life of all, regardless of age, state of health or economic circumstances. We envisage an Ireland where all the children of the nation are cherished equally, and where all of our people are respected and have the chance to thrive.

I live, and raised up my family in the Waterside, a few streets from where I was born. However, having worked as a GP in Shantallow Health Centre in the heart of the Ballyarnett Electoral Ward for twenty seven years, I feel that I understand the needs of this district. I have been involved in community activism throughout my life, and believe that local experience should steer decisions affecting the people.

Over the years, I have been immersed in range of community-based initiatives, relating to health, social justice and human rights. These include;

-The campaign for the defence of Articles 2&3 of Bunreacht na hÉireann, relating to the constitutional entitlement of the six counties to be part of the Irish Nation.

-Served on the National Executive of the Irish National Congress.

-Member of The Equality Campaign, highlighting discrimination in employment against nationalists.

-Founder member of the Gasyard Development Trust.

-On the management board of Cunamh, a community based mental health project.

-Is gníomhaí Gaeilge mé, a bhí i mo bhall de bhord and Ghealáras, Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, agus Cumann and Ghrianáin.

-I have been involved in the pro-life movement since my days as a medical student, and advocate for the right to life of all people, at every stage of their lives, irrespective of their age, state of health or economic circumstances. I’m a pro-life feminist, who argues that women and their babies deserve better.

Edward

EDWARD MCMANUS

Dublin: Fingal – Castleknock

Edward is a Pharmacist and Community Activist who lives in Castleknock where he is married with two young children.

He has served as Chair of the Blanchardstown Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force from 2014 to 2018. Edward has served as secretary to the Castleknock Residents Action Group, is the current Chair of the Castleknock Parish Council and is also a member of Castleknock Tidy Towns Committee.

Through the activities of his children he is a member and supporter of, Castleknock GAA Football and Hurling Club, Castleknock Tennis Club and Coolmine Rugby Club.

Edward’s Priorities – Supporting Families

Crime – Regular Community Policing. Provide Victim Support

Environment – Development of Local Areas through Proper Co-ordinated Planning and Community Led Discussion

Local Community Activities – to be Supported and Funded

Transport – Providing Proper Access to Public Transport and Incentivizing it’s use

Housing – Proper Provision of Affordable Housing for the Needs of Families at Different Stages

Green Spaces-Protecting the Phoenix Park and other Green Spaces as Community Amenities

Enterprise and Education – Promote with Tax Reliefs, Grants and Scholarships

MARTIN WARD
Galway – Tuam

Martin has been an active Community Activist for more than 30 years and has a wide spectrum of experience while working for the betterment of the overall community. He has supported the development of youth work activities for the past 30 + years plus, both at local level and national level. His is currently the Manager of Western Traveller and Intercultural Development in Tuam. Former Mayor of Tuam he was a local councillor for many years. He is married and has seven in his family. Martin is currently involved with the following groups:
Chairperson of Involve
2015 to present: Member of NTRIS
2014 to present: Member of the Co Galway Local Community Development Committee
2014 to present: Member of Co Galway Public Participation Network, Social Inclusion rep.
1993 to present: Director of the Centre for Education and Development Ltd, Tuam
2008 to present: Company Secretary WTID Ltd.
2008 -18: MABS rep, Tuam
As a councillor he would like to address and make a positive change on many issues including the following:
Town Rates need to be addressed as businesses in Tuam are been forced to close, due to the high rates in the town. Rates need to be cut by a quarter and the shortfall can be addressed by using the parking fees which are collected in Tuam Town.
The railway track issue needs to be addressed and both a greenway and light rail could be a very positive development for the whole area.
The Famous Railway Kitchen needs to be supported to reopen, this community amenity was closed six months ago and if reopened, has great potential. We have identified a community group that will take on the responsibility of opening and re-employing former staff.
Accommodation is a great concern, evictions need to be stopped and more social housing built. Martin believes that cheaper and more cost-efficient modes of accommodation such as modular homes must be built, which will cost in the region of €80,000, making homes affordable.

Anne Brolly
ANNE BROLLY
Causeway Coast and Glens

Born Anne Corey in Brackaville, County Tyrone.  Anne was educated at Saint Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon. She raduated from Saint Mary’s University College, Belfast. Through her singing, she met and married Francie Brolly, moved to Dungiven and began teaching in St. John’s PS, Dernaflaw, where she became vice-principal. She is the mother of five children: Joe, Proinsias, Conal, Áine and Nodlaig. Anne and Francie Brolly were a popular folk singing duet, touring in Ireland, England, America and New Zealand.  They recorded five albums.  Anne won the All-Ireland traditional singing title in 1972 and toured internationally with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in 1972 and 1975.

Anne was always a community activist.

Among the projects for which she campaigned locally were the long-awaited Dungiven bypass, the Irish Medium Primary School – Gaelscoil Neachtain, and the re-cycling unit at Beech Green Lane.  As a member of the Northern Ireland Education and Library Board she facilitated the purchase by Dungiven Parish of the site of the former Dungiven Controlled Secondary School.

Equality and Opportunity

In 1995 Anne challenged the Northern Bank on their recruitment and promotion policies, which, historically, were not providing equality of opportunity. Nationalists were under-represented at all levels.  She received an assurance that the bank was ‘making efforts to ensure fair participation.’

Voluntary Cross community work

She was a member of the Irish Handicapped Children’s Pilgrimage Trust, raising funds and accompanying disabled youngsters on pilgrimages to Lourdes. In 2007 Anne collected £10,000 for the Zomba Action Project (ZAP) and went to Malawi with a cross-community group from the greater Limavady area, all travelling at their own expense.  The installation of a new blood storage refrigerator for the local hospital was among the projects funded by them.

She became the first ever lady Mayor of Limavady in 2003

Standing in local council elections in 2001 she was elected to Limavady Borough Council, having topped the poll in the Benbradagh ward. As Deputy Mayor, in 2002, Anne visited the International School for Peace Studies in Belgium and was invited by the Chief Executive of the school, Glen Barr, to become a member of the Steering Committee. From diverse backgrounds, religious, cultural and political, this group was challenged to work with common understanding and sensitivity to achieve a goal which many people considered and continue to consider unachievable: ‘that the shared suffering of Nationalist and Unionist Irishmen in World War 1 might be a catalyst for peace between us rather than a force for division.’

Anne was forced to leave Sinn Féin, unfortunately, because of that party’s support for abortion, now promoting the killing of babies in the womb up to 12 weeks of gestation with no restriction, except for assurance from a doctor that the baby is indeed under 12 weeks old.  Her appeal at Ardfheis (AGM) 2014 for the fundamental Republican right to freedom of conscience was denied.

Anne is determined to tackle the sectarianism that has been fostered for their own advancement by Northern politicians for centuries.  “The dream of the United Irishmen of Belfast and Ulster in 1791 can still become a reality,” she says.

If chosen by the people of Benbradagh to represent them, Anne will give her full support to all community efforts to regenerate the area and will work with other elected members to get maximum input from Causeway Coast and Glens Council.

Aontú Representatives

SARAH O’REILLY
Cavan – Bailiborough

Sarah O’Reilly was co-opted onto Cavan County Council in 2016 and subsequently took up a position as a political administrator. Prior to her co-option, Sarah worked as a buyer for an international company in Cavan Town. Sarah worked in agriculture and civil works for 18 years before returning to education in 2010 and qualifying as an Accountant Technician in 2012. She is a member of The Castle Lake Committee, The Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB), The Joint Policing Committee (JPC), Bailieborough Community School, Cavan’s Enterprise and Economic Committee and The Garage Theatre, Monaghan. She has worked extremely hard over the last three years to improve promote and develop the community, and address the concerns of her constituents.

EMER TÓIBÍN
Meath – Navan

Emer Tóibín is married and has 4 children. She has worked as a lecturer, project manager and in business development over many years. Dissatisfaction with how Meath has continuously been left out of governmental investment and development strategy has led her to get involved in local politics. A sister of Meath West TD Peadar Toibin, she has seen at first-hand the lack of planning and investment that has stymied Meath’s growth potential. Involved as a player and coach for many years with Navan O’Mahoneys, Emer is a strong community activist and campaigner. She also played camogie at county level, and played with Navan hockey and with Navan tennis. She volunteers on the local school’s parents committee and is engaged in the Save Navan Hospital and Navan Rail link to Dublin campaigns. With your backing, Emer will represent you to the best of her ability. Not afraid to grapple with the inadequacies of our services, you can be sure that she will aim to get the results, that for so long have been denied to the royal county.

JOHN PHELAN
Dublin – Rathfarnam-Templogue

Film Industry professional with a background in Accountancy and a Legal Qualification. Living in Rathfarnham and married with 2 grown up children. With deep roots in local community work over many years, he has a strong and passionate interest in my Country and what it stands for. He took an active interest in local politics running in the local elections in 2009 (Rathfarnham Ward) for Fianna Fáil. John believes that effective government needs good and active opposition and that this is something which we do not have. He is committed to a political landscape that brings all people into politics that offers a new vision and is more inclusive. For that reason he joined AONTÚ. Its core principles of LIFE, UNITY and ECONOMIC JUSTICE offer a new and vibrant platform that moves our political landscape away from the traditional approach of the past.

PAUL LAWLESS
Mayo – Claremorris

A 27-year-old from Knock, Paul Lawless teaches maths and PE at Ballyhaunis Community School. After playing soccer for Mayo, Connaught and the Republic of Ireland at underage level, he achieved a professional contract with Derby County FC. This led to him attaining a scholarship to study a BE.d at UCC, and an M.B.A in the USA. He is currently completing a post graduate course in mathematics in his spare time. Paul plays Gaelic football for both Aughamore GAA Club and the Mayo junior football team. Paul felt compelled to get involved in local politics to address the regional development imbalance which is hurting Mayo. He said dissatisfaction with how Mayo has continuously been left out of government investment and the devastating impact this has had on his generation of friends, led him to get involved in local politics.

PETER WHELAN
Meath – Bettystown/Laytown

Peter Whelan is a businessman living and working in Slane. He, along with his wife, run the ‘Whole Hogg’s’ free range pig farm. Peter is a prominent member of the Boyne Valley Food Series which won best food destination in Ireland in 2016. Peter has been on national television and radio regularly, promoting local artisan producers and farmers in counties Meath and Louth. As Cathaoirleach of Slane’s Aontú Cumann, Peter is a prominent member of the community and has identified many key areas that need immediate action, including proper footpaths for Littlewood, a car park for Slane Village, changing the N2 Traffic Lights sequence at peak times in Kilmoon and greater security on the Hill of Slane, among many others. Peter is determined to offer those in his area the best possible representation.

JAMES DUFFY
Monaghan – Castleblaney

James Duffy was born on March 14, 1964. He is a native of Castleblayney.
He was reared by his grandparents, Mick McDonnell (known locally as Big Mick, an Ambulance driver), Mary Ellen [nee Brennan], a carer, and his parents, Philip(a garda) and Rose Duffy (a nurse). He received his education in Castleblayney Boys’ School and Our Lady’s Secondary School (Sisters of Mercy), Castleblayney. He is currently pursuing higher education. James was a member of the Castleblayney Urban District Council, from 1985-1994 and was the Chairman from 1987-88. He is presently a full-time community activist.

Rosemary Shields
ROSEMARY SHIELDS
Tyrone – Fermanagh and Omagh

Cllr Rosemarie Shields is an elected representative with real strength of character and back bone. She is the third generation of elected reps in her family. She is a woman who is not afraid to stand up for her community and for what she believes in. Cllr Shields left the SDLP at the start of this year and joined Aontú in order to provide real representation to her constituents from the Mid-Tyrone ward of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.
A rural-dweller herself, she is bringing up her family in the countryside and aware of the challenges facing rural life. She has a love of and interest in the promotion of Irish language, history and culture. She is sick of political parties deciding policy at central level – as what suits in Belfast does not reflect the needs and values of the people of Tyrone. Among her chief concerns as councillor is care within the community, including caring for an ageing population and lack of health care supports. She supports the many community and voluntary efforts to fill gaps left by lack of equitable and effective service provision in rural Mid-Tyrone.

FERGAL LENNON
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council

Fergal Lennon is a father of three and lives in Derrytrasna within central Craigavon District Electoral Area, but has family and friends living throughout the urban and neighbouring DEAs. Fergal has been an elected representative for the past five years within the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon council and is fully aware of the issues affecting all residents throughout the borough.

Fergal is a builder by trade and has spent more than 25 years running his own construction firm. As a business owner, Fergal is well aware of the challenges facing both the construction industry and small businesses.

Fergal is currently a member of various groups and organisations
– Board member of TADA (rural support network)
– Board Member of SOAR (rural development fund)
– Board member of Lurgan Townscape Heritage
– Vice chair of Craigavon/Brownlow Regeneration
– N.I.L.G.A Executive
– Board Member of NISMP

BRENDAN THORNHILL
Wicklow

Brendan Thornhill originally hails from Skibbereen,West Corkwhere he was reared and educated. In November 1981, at 28 years of age, he became a member of the Garda Siochana. He was stationed at Shankill and spent the last 23 years as a community Garda in Bray,Co Wicklow. In 2000 he received an Endeavour Award for his contribution to the community. He became a familiar face in Bray and was known to everyone young and old and to all groups. He retired in 2011 and was elected as a member of Wicklow Council in May 2014. He has been a great contributor to the Council, speaking on many items concerning Bray. He was Cathaoirleach of Bray MDC in 2014. He is a fluent Iriish speaker and has served on various committees such as Drugs Task Awareness, Wicklow Tourism and Wicklow Elderly Alliance. He is passionate about the future of AONTÚ.

Oliver O Brien
OLIVER O’BRIEN
Wicklow – Bray

Oliver is a teacher in St. Fergal’s National School and has been for over 35 years. Originally a native of Tipperary, Oliver has always been involved in the community, particularly in youth activities since moving to Bray. He founded Fergal Ógs in 1992 and has been an avid promoter of Gaelic games in Bray since then. Having bought a new home locally, near the end of the so-called Celtic Tiger, Oliver has experienced first-hand, the situation many families find themselves in today, with issues such as negative equity and mortgage distress hanging over them. Over his 35 years of teaching and community work, Oliver has witnessed many children succeed. However, the system has failed many others, and has not allowed for their talents to come to fruition. He believes we need to have a system where the community gets what a community needs, quickly – a system that fast tracks the funding of projects to be delivered by the community for the community. Motivated by strong beliefs of equality and decency, Oliver believes a vital way to make the changes that are needed is to be involved in the decision making process at Local Government Level.

Margaret Swift
MARGARET SWIFT
Omagh

Married to Liam, Margaret is a registered nurse with a background in youth and community work. She has a keen interest in both the GAA, with other aspects of Irish culture, and is also an animal lover — being a proud owner of two rescue dogs. She cares deeply about our health and environment and, as such, is strongly opposed to gold mining – not only in the Omagh area but across Ireland too. It is a campaign that she has assisted with locally. She also has grave concerns at proposals to site a nuclear waste disposal facility in the Sperrins, as indeed any part of Ireland.
If elected, Margaret will rigorously oppose all and any effort to endanger our environment and our people through such practices. As a health worker, she is acutely concerned about extensive waiting lists, the increasing shortage of beds, related staffing issues and a lack of community care and placements. Likewise, she is concerned about access to out of hours GP services. Upgrading the A5 is also, for both herself and Aontú, a local priority – as are safer, improved roads and infrastructure in general. She will work to address all of these matters at Council level as far as can be arrived at if elected.
Nationally, as Brexit exposes the continuing impact of partition on Ireland, she feels the time is now for Ireland’s unity as a 32-county republic. With Aontú, she believes this the logical solution to the Brexit crisis, which must be built towards in the immediate term.
Ultimately, the goal and focus of Margaret’s election campaign is to provide honest representation to local people on the local issues that impact their lives, all within the context of a wider effort to create a better and more equal and just Ireland. Margaret sees a need for better politics and for better decision-making across the scope of politics, that the requirements of ordinary people might be better addressed. Politics must serve all of society, not sectional interests with undue influence, as has often been the case. With Aontú, she believes that she can fulfil this much-needed function of the democratic process, as people both locally in Omagh and Ireland, too, deserve. Come May 2, help make that a reality — on Thursday May 2, vote Swift No. 1.

DR ANN MCCLOSKEY
Derry and Strabane

I am proud to offer myself as a candidate for Aontú, a new All-Ireland political organisaiton, in the Ballyarnett Ward of my home town of Derry.

Aontú is a party which will work for Irish Unity, for social justice, and for the right to life of all, regardless of age, state of health or economic circumstances. We envisage an Ireland where all the children of the nation are cherished equally, and where all of our people are respected and have the chance to thrive.

I live, and raised up my family in the Waterside, a few streets from where I was born. However, having worked as a GP in Shantallow Health Centre in the heart of the Ballyarnett Electoral Ward for twenty seven years, I feel that I understand the needs of this district. I have been involved in community activism throughout my life, and believe that local experience should steer decisions affecting the people.

Over the years, I have been immersed in range of community-based initiatives, relating to health, social justice and human rights. These include;

-The campaign for the defence of Articles 2&3 of Bunreacht na hÉireann, relating to the constitutional entitlement of the six counties to be part of the Irish Nation.

-Served on the National Executive of the Irish National Congress.

-Member of The Equality Campaign, highlighting discrimination in employment against nationalists.

-Founder member of the Gasyard Development Trust.

-On the management board of Cunamh, a community based mental health project.

-Is gníomhaí Gaeilge mé, a bhí i mo bhall de bhord and Ghealáras, Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, agus Cumann and Ghrianáin.

-I have been involved in the pro-life movement since my days as a medical student, and advocate for the right to life of all people, at every stage of their lives, irrespective of their age, state of health or economic circumstances. I’m a pro-life feminist, who argues that women and their babies deserve better.

Edward

EDWARD MCMANUS
Dublin: Fingal – Castleknock

Edward is a Pharmacist and Community Activist who lives in Castleknock where he is married with two young children.He has served as Chair of the Blanchardstown Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force from 2014 to 2018. Edward has served as secretary to the Castleknock Residents Action Group, is the current Chair of the Castleknock Parish Council and is also a member of Castleknock Tidy Towns Committee.

Through the activities of his children he is a member and supporter of, Castleknock GAA Football and Hurling Club, Castleknock Tennis Club and Coolmine Rugby Club

Edward’s Priorities – Supporting Families

Crime – Regular Community Policing. Provide Victim Support

Environment – Development of Local Areas through Proper Co-ordinated Planning and Community Led Discussion

Local Community Activities – to be Supported and Funded

Transport – Providing Proper Access to Public Transport and Incentivizing it’s use

Housing – Proper Provision of Affordable Housing for the Needs of Families at Different Stages

Green Spaces-Protecting the Phoenix Park and other Green Spaces as Community Amenities

Enterprise and Education – Promote with Tax Reliefs, Grants and Scholarships

MARTIN WARD
Galway – Tuam

Martin has been an active Community Activist for more than 30 years and has a wide spectrum of experience while working for the betterment of the overall community. He has supported the development of youth work activities for the past 30 + years plus, both at local level and national level. His is currently the Manager of Western Traveller and Intercultural Development in Tuam. Former Mayor of Tuam he was a local councillor for many years. He is married and has seven in his family. Martin is currently involved with the following groups:
Chairperson of Involve
2015 to present: Member of NTRIS
2014 to present: Member of the Co Galway Local Community Development Committee
2014 to present: Member of Co Galway Public Participation Network, Social Inclusion rep.
1993 to present: Director of the Centre for Education and Development Ltd, Tuam
2008 to present: Company Secretary WTID Ltd.
2008 -18: MABS rep, Tuam
As a councillor he would like to address and make a positive change on many issues including the following:
Town Rates need to be addressed as businesses in Tuam are been forced to close, due to the high rates in the town. Rates need to be cut by a quarter and the shortfall can be addressed by using the parking fees which are collected in Tuam Town.
The railway track issue needs to be addressed and both a greenway and light rail could be a very positive development for the whole area.
The Famous Railway Kitchen needs to be supported to reopen, this community amenity was closed six months ago and if reopened, has great potential. We have identified a community group that will take on the responsibility of opening and re-employing former staff.
Accommodation is a great concern, evictions need to be stopped and more social housing built. Martin believes that cheaper and more cost-efficient modes of accommodation such as modular homes must be built, which will cost in the region of €80,000, making homes affordable.

Anne Brolly
ANNE BROLLY
Causeway Coast and Glens

Born Anne Corey in Brackaville, County Tyrone.  Anne was educated at Saint Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon. She raduated from Saint Mary’s University College, Belfast. Through her singing, she met and married Francie Brolly, moved to Dungiven and began teaching in St. John’s PS, Dernaflaw, where she became vice-principal. She is the mother of five children: Joe, Proinsias, Conal, Áine and Nodlaig. Anne and Francie Brolly were a popular folk singing duet, touring in Ireland, England, America and New Zealand.  They recorded five albums.  Anne won the All-Ireland traditional singing title in 1972 and toured internationally with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in 1972 and 1975.

Anne was always a community activist.

Among the projects for which she campaigned locally were the long-awaited Dungiven bypass, the Irish Medium Primary School – Gaelscoil Neachtain, and the re-cycling unit at Beech Green Lane.  As a member of the Northern Ireland Education and Library Board she facilitated the purchase by Dungiven Parish of the site of the former Dungiven Controlled Secondary School.

Equality and Opportunity

In 1995 Anne challenged the Northern Bank on their recruitment and promotion policies, which, historically, were not providing equality of opportunity. Nationalists were under-represented at all levels.  She received an assurance that the bank was ‘making efforts to ensure fair participation.’

Voluntary Cross community work

She was a member of the Irish Handicapped Children’s Pilgrimage Trust, raising funds and accompanying disabled youngsters on pilgrimages to Lourdes. In 2007 Anne collected £10,000 for the Zomba Action Project (ZAP) and went to Malawi with a cross-community group from the greater Limavady area, all travelling at their own expense.  The installation of a new blood storage refrigerator for the local hospital was among the projects funded by them.

She became the first ever lady Mayor of Limavady in 2003

Standing in local council elections in 2001 she was elected to Limavady Borough Council, having topped the poll in the Benbradagh ward. As Deputy Mayor, in 2002, Anne visited the International School for Peace Studies in Belgium and was invited by the Chief Executive of the school, Glen Barr, to become a member of the Steering Committee. From diverse backgrounds, religious, cultural and political, this group was challenged to work with common understanding and sensitivity to achieve a goal which many people considered and continue to consider unachievable: ‘that the shared suffering of Nationalist and Unionist Irishmen in World War 1 might be a catalyst for peace between us rather than a force for division.’

Anne was forced to leave Sinn Féin, unfortunately, because of that party’s support for abortion, now promoting the killing of babies in the womb up to 12 weeks of gestation with no restriction, except for assurance from a doctor that the baby is indeed under 12 weeks old.  Her appeal at Ardfheis (AGM) 2014 for the fundamental Republican right to freedom of conscience was denied.

Anne is determined to tackle the sectarianism that has been fostered for their own advancement by Northern politicians for centuries.  “The dream of the United Irishmen of Belfast and Ulster in 1791 can still become a reality,” she says.

If chosen by the people of Benbradagh to represent them, Anne will give her full support to all community efforts to regenerate the area and will work with other elected members to get maximum input from Causeway Coast and Glens Council.