It has been just over a year since the 2016 General Election; one of those elected to represent Sligo was Fine Gael Deputy, Tony McLoughlin. The Sligo-based TD has been involved in local politics for most of his adult life. He was an elected representative on both Sligo County Council, where he held a seat from 1974 and Sligo Borough Council. He also served as the Mayor of Sligo on four separate occasions.
Speaking about the past political year, he has said that it has been a very busy year for him personally as he has been hard at work dealing with many issues on the ground in the newly enlarged Sligo-Leitrim Constituency. However, he said that he has immensely enjoyed representing and working for the people of Sligo, Leitrim, South Donegal and West Cavan and is very proud to do so.
Through his vast political experience, he says there is one main ingredient to doing a good job – hard-work.
“Since the General Election in February 2016, my office staff and I have handled 5,332 individual constituency queries, tabled a Private Members Bill to ban Fracking in Ireland, hosted a large regional public meeting on Brexit, attended over 200 local meetings and campaigns, arranged 34 delegations from the constituency to meet with Ministers in Dublin, tabled 275 Parliamentary Questions and welcomed 19 school tours to Leinster House.
“I was elected on the back of a promise of working hard for the people and for my region and this is what I am doing every single day. Deputy McLoughlin, who was appointed as the Assistant Whip of the Fine Gael party by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, acknowledges that the make-up of the 32nd Dáil has brought new challenges.
“The concept of ‘new politics’ we have at the moment is very difficult to work with in reality as there are a lot more deliberations, negotiations and most importantly compromise required than has ever been the case in the Dáil before.
“We often find ourselves in a situation where it is difficult to make headway on important issues without lengthy deliberation. But he said that we must get on with it as this is the will of the Irish people. No party won a clear majority last year.
“The economic progress we see currently has been hard won over the last 6 years. We cannot afford to throw it all away no on other parties who would risk our recovery. We in Fine Gael are working day and night to ensure that every single family sees the benefits of an economy that is growing strongly once again.”
Deputy McLoughlin concluded by saying that all in all, it has been a privilege to serve the people of Sligo, Leitrim, South Donegal and West Cavan over the past 12 months and he hopes to be able continue to work hard for the region over the coming years.