18th October 2013, Friday
Fine Gael has selected its Local election 2014 candidates for the south side of the city. In the South West Ward which covers Bishopstown, Wilton, Glasheen, Togher, and the area around UCC Barry Keane and Cllr. John Buttimer were selected with a third candidate to be added later. Long serving Fine Gael Cllr. Brian Bermingham has retired ending a 60 year sterling contribution to the city by the Bermingham family through COPE and the City Council.
Barry is a teacher and community activist and led the campaign to investigate the Lee flood of 2009 which will see new river defences being built in Cork next year. He is heavily involved in the Cork University Area Residents Forum which tackles anti social behaviour and absentee landlords. This has resulted in the installation of CCTV cameras on College Road at a cost of €160,000 and a new complaints system for residents who have difficulties. He is treasurer of the Friends of St. Finbarr’s cemetery who are working to improve the graveyard over the next decade.
His key aim for the city over the next five years is to create jobs. His flagship proposal is to develop and expand the English Market as a centre of excellence for the Irish food industry which will revitalise Grand Parade and more than double the jobs in the market. The government has also provided funding for a convention centre in the city and this will draw overnight visitors to the city. A straight talker he will be proposing business rate reductions to his Fine Gael colleagues and the city council over the next five years to drive jobs across the city.
Locally, he views the development of Togher town centre and the Science Park at CIT (along with its relief road) as core projects to provide jobs for the people of our area.The traffic generated by the three huge institutions UCC, CIT and CUH requires innovative solutions and he has proposed half day disc parking to end the practice of fly parking while allowing residents access to their homes without having to get parking permits.
A published author his next book ‘Massacre in west Cork’ will be published by Mercier Press in January 2014. He is a past pupil of Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, and a graduate of UCC. He is married to Louise and their daughter Ella (6) is already campaigning with the slogan ‘Vote for my daddy…’ and designing the new and improved childrens’ playground at the Lough.