Writes Ciaran Dineen
Another late addition to the ballot paper sees Crosshaven’s Michael Paul Murtagh added to the ticket by Fine Gael. Michael, or Paul as he is best known in Crosshaven, comes from a very traditional family, is one of ten children and is a fourth generation ‘Michael’ Murtagh.
The election candidate spent all of his schooling years in his place of birth and went on to play all types of sports for Crosshaven, and had a particular love for rugby. Michael went on to Cork Institute of Technology, where he studied Architecture. However, he quickly realised that a 9-5 office job did not exactly appeal to him and when he saw applications to join the Fire Brigade he threw himself at the opportunity. He has now been a full-time part of the Cork City Fire Brigade, for 20 years, and for the last five years he has taken up an Officer role with the service. Michael still resides in Crosshaven to this day, alongside his wife and two children.
Journey To Politics:
Michael comes from a relatively ‘Republican’ background, however, he comes from a family with no ties to politics and he himself was interested politically for a large period of his life. Music was certainly more appealing to the Fine Gael candidate growing up, but ironically this led him to become engaged with the political process. A close friend of his who he played music with, is a descendent of Michael Collins and following a trip to the United States, Murtagh made it his priority to read up on his Irish history and Collins himself.
When the recession hit in 2009, Michael took it upon himself to become more engaged with politics and following the birth of his children he wanted to be more active within his own community of Crosshaven. Since then he has played a significant role in re-establishing Crosshaven Scouts and also was elected as Director of the Crosshaven Community Association. Michael joined Fine Gael around the same time and has canvassed for An Tánaiste Simon Coveney TD in the past. He was chosen recently to be the third Fine Gael candidate for the Carrigaline LEA, alongside Aidan Lombard and Liam O’Connor.
On Being An Un-Fazed Candidate And The Role Of The Council:
Michael believes that he would be a good representative for the area because he doesn’t seek to become a career politician. “Being a Councillor is not a full-time job and this is the mistake people are making. Some are making a council job as a career step when it shouldn’t be. What it should be is a connection to the community….and the only reason why I put myself forward is because I don’t have to answer to anyone. I have a career, I have a job and I don’t have to kiss ass. The Councillor’s position is that you’re supposed to be there to help the people.”
The Fine Gael candidate believes that the way the Council uses its resources could be done a lot better and more efficiently, and thinks that he has the “imagination” to improve things if elected. “I intend to use my experience as a fireman because in our line of work there are no excuses,” Michael tells The Carrigdhoun. “You either do it or you don’t. So how do you improve the Council? You need to have imagination and come up with options and use everything that you know to create a better way to do it and get things done when they have to be done.”
On Utilising The Harbour And Traffic In Crosshaven:
Being from Crosshaven, Michael knows more than most how beautiful and attractive the area that he experiences on a daily basis is. He would love to see all of the harbour, from Crosshaven to Carrigaline, to Passage and beyond, used to full effect and capitalise on its obvious potential. “The Port of Cork coming down to Ringaskiddy is just a huge, monumental change for Cork. I think with my background in structure, architecture and planning that I might be able to come up with some solutions that can help smoothen out any problems that occur. It’s what I’ve done for 20 years, albeit in a different format but I’m a firm believer in leading by example.”
Michael is also adamant that one of the key issues facing his own town is that of traffic and the volume of cars in Crosshaven Village. “The infrastructure isn’t what it needs to be” Michael explains. “We need to create a strategy and for me the most obvious place to start is by creating a one-way system. The whole point I think is that there’s only a finite amount of money to do these jobs but it’s about using that money to get maximum impact for the traffic situation that we have in Crosshaven.”
On Why People Should Vote For Me:
“I suppose I would say that I’m very straight-forward and I’m also honest”, Michael says. “I would be the first to step aside if I felt that I wasn’t doing a good enough job. I’m very clear when I say this though, this is not about career for me, this is about compassion and having compassion for people and this area. I want to solve problems not just after the mess but prevent them from ever happening in the first place. I know that I’m clever enough and that I have boundless energy. I want to do my best to help, to effect the changes that are needed and to lead by example. I can do that in lots of ways but running for Local Elections is certainly one of them.”
In the lead up to the elections which take place on May 24th, constituents can contact Michael via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if they have any queries about his campaign and candidacy. He is also contactble by phone: 0868306364, and Facebook:Michael Paul Murtagh
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