“Time for change” - Donegal Mayoral candidate

The last two presidential elections in Ireland have provided us with two women and possibly two of the best Presidents that this country has ever produced.

The last two presidential elections in Ireland have provided us with two women and possibly two of the best Presidents that this country has ever produced.

With the election for the position of Mayor of Donegal there is one lady who would like to see that trend continuing with the election of the first lady ever to hold this honorary position.

Patricia Callaghan who is one of the three candidates and the only female in the race said, “I am not sexist but I think both men and women can do an equally good job and I just think it is now a time for change, a time for a fresh face and a breath of fresh air.”

Patricia is married to the popular Vincent and they have been living in Donegal for the past 35 years. The couple have five children with all but one living and working away from home.

Speaking to the Donegal Democrat, Patricia reflected on some of her past achievements and put forward some of the reasons she feels would make her a good Mayor.

“For over 20 years I have been active in the community in many committees working for the betterment of Donegal, Leghowney, Barnesmore, Killymard and Lough Eske.

“I have been involved in promoting the area and bringing people into the area in a tourism capacity.

“Through my work with the Twinning Association I have enabled young people from our community to travel to France and experience first-hand the different cultures and in turn have brought many French here to experience our wonderful welcome and culture and this has been so successful that we are now celebrating 20 years of student & adult exchanges, work experiences and house exchanges.

“I was involved with the original Donegal Town Youth Band for many years travelling most weekends with over 50 children to competitions all over the North West and further afield. Indeed the band was very successful winning many competitions and trophies.

“I was fundamental in starting the Heritage Festival which brings the St. Patrick’s Day Parade to Donegal Town every year. This parade gets better and better and is one of the best in the county as we all witnessed last weekend.

“Tourism provides probably the best opportunity for Donegal Town in these challenging times - we have a lot of successful events and festivals and I have been privileged to work on the Taste of Donegal Festival which has been an unprecedented success.

“Over the last two years every time we turn on the radio or television there is nothing but doom and gloom I feel we need to get past all this negativity and start to get more positive about our area.

“Yesterday is history and tomorrow very much a mystery but we can influence that mystery. I am not one for dwelling on past achievements - I am much more interested in the future, a future that will provide a good living environment and employment for our children. we have a wonderful tourist town ,an ideal base for touring the county,

“We have on our doorstep the majestic Bluestack Mountains, lakes and rivers teaming with fish, we have great hill and mountain walking, fantastic surfing beaches a magnificent 18 hole golf course, award winning 4 and 5 star hotels at Lough Eske, three excellent hotels in Donegal Town and restaurants that could compete with the best in the world.

“We have a beautiful new pier area which could become a fantastic marina we have the Waterbus which is a great attraction for tourists, Donegal Castle, the Old Abbey, the bank walk, all these could be improved and become major attractions in our town.

“There are vibrant communities outside the Town for example Leghowney, they have a new community centre and hold country markets, drama productions and dances regularly, Barnesmore and Townawilly also have wonderful community spirit and facilities as does Drimarone. We should be trying to build on these services to offer more for the youth in these areas.

“With the recent news that President Obama will visit Ireland in May we are in an ideal situation to market our area & County as all eyes will be on Ireland when he comes. It would be an enormous boost to our tourism and maybe even get some more American companies to invest in our country - these are the things we should be trying to do.

“I feel if I was elected Mayor of Donegal Town I would be in a better position to promote and represent the town & surrounding areas and the people more effectively. I have a positive approach and ability to network, I carry no baggage,

“I am non-political and have no interest in being a Councillor, Senator or TD, and I want to work with the community to develop a stronger local economy.”