Marian Harkin celebrates with her Uncle Jimmy Gilmartin and her mother Annie. PHOTO: Matt Britton
Marian Harkin says she is very sympathetic to the people of south Donegal who were cut off politically cut off from the rest of the county.
The newly elected TD is reassuring her constituents in south Donegal that she is very aware of their needs and will represent them fully in Dáil Eireann.
She said: “South Donegal is very much on my radar. Over the years I would have been proud to represent people in Donegal and was engaged in all of Donegal on many issues.
“People knew me when I came to the doorsteps and they were talking openly to me about their concerns.
Ms Harkin believes that many of the issues in south Donegal are pertinent across rural Ireland.
“For example, issues affecting the farming community are common across the region,” she said. “If the farm CAP is achieved, that will make a huge difference with up to €10m a year extra coming into rural communities.
“We also need to make sure we get our fair share of investment and jobs as well as the opportunity to create jobs. I’m not talking about an IDA factory on every crossroads but we need high speed broadband. We need to be able to work in our towns and villages.”
The newly elected TD is passionate about ensuring rural Ireland gets the recognition and support it needs.
“If Ireland isn’t an Ireland of the regions we are not reaching our full potential,” she said. “I am pleased to see a lot of rural independents elected. I hope that we can find common cause to deliver for rural Ireland.
“It won’t be easy but that is why I put myself forward.”
Ms Harkin is also very aware of the particular challenges facing some sections of the community in Donegal, and of the ongoing call for seven-day respite care at Seaview House.
“When I was an MEP, carers and people with disabilities were on top of my agenda,” she said. “That is still very much the case.”
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