SPONSORED: John McGuinness: ‘I want a better, fairer Ireland where we put people first’
‘All politics is local’ was the maxim of Tip O’Neill, Speaker of the US House of Representatives. That’s certainly true in Ireland where some TDs have trouble seeing beyond their own back yard.
Balancing national interests with local needs can be difficult but John McGuinness has done it throughout his career.
The Fianna Fáil TD is a Kilkenny man through and through, proud of his county and city and always ready to fight for his constituency and constituents. But in 23 years in Dáil Eireann he has also strived to serve the country.
He has campaigned for open government and fought for the protection of whistle blowers. He has held the Government to account on the economy, housing and health and exposed wasteful squandering of taxpayers’ money.
Now he is seeking re-election “to fight for a better, fairer Ireland”.
“I want to be there to deliver a good standard of living and public service for all our people,” he says.
Deputy McGuinness is adamant that the Government’s policies have not worked. “Individuals and families are suffering,” he says. “I want to see the country managed better. I want to eliminate waste of public funding. I want to put people first.”
He singles out two pieces of legislation he would particularly like to implement: the Affordable Housing and Fair Mortgage Bill and the Comptroller and Auditor General Bill.
The Housing Bill would curb the activities of so-called ‘vulture funds’ and address the mortgage arrears issue.
The Comptroller and Auditor General legislation would tighten public scrutiny of spending on major capital projects such as the National Children’s Hospital.
The measures capture perfectly John McGuinness’s policy of putting people first.
“We need to manage the country better,” he says. “Eliminate waste of public funding. Put people first. I want to be there to use my experience to help make our country a better place for all of us.”
A better country means a better county and John McGuinness lists a number of priorities for the Carlow-Kilkenny constituency:
*Keep Kilcreene Hospital open and develop that campus to include care of the elderly;
*Deliver building for the long-awaited MRI scanner at St Luke’s;
*Modernise St. Luke’s Campus and employ more consultants and nurses;
*A Gaelscoil and secondary school for the Eastern Environs;
*A Norman Centre of studies and a museum for the Brewery Site.
John McGuinness was born in Kilkenny and educated at the CBS before going on to study at UCC.
He holds a Diploma in Business Management. He is married to Margaret Redmond and they have three sons and one daughter. His eldest son Andrew topped the poll in Kilkenny City in the local elections (pictured above after the result was announced) last May and served as Mayor from 2014 to 2015.
John entered local politics in 1979 when he won a seat on Kilkenny Borough Council. He was mayor of the city from 1996 to 1997.
He was the third generation of his family to serve on the council. From 1991 until the abolition of the dual mandate in 2003, he was a member of Kilkenny County Council where his father, Michael McGuinness, had been the longest-serving councillor.
John was first elected to the Dáil in 1997. He has held many positions of responsibility including as Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, vice-chairperson of the Pubolic Accounts Committee and Chair of the Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform committee.
He is a family man who lists his chief hobby as “walking my dogs, Mikey and Alice – they know everything!”
John loves to talk politics. But there is one thing he doesn’t want to hear – that his seat his seat is safe!
“No seat is safe during an election,” he says. “If you want to help me to continue providing passionate, straightforward representation and determined leadership nationally, and support, advice and assistance locally, please vote No 1 John McGuinness on February 8 and please ask your friends and family to do the same.”