KENMARE Fianna Fail Sen. Mark Daly says he will seek his party’s nomination for a seat in the Dail Éireann in the next general election.
Daly’s announcement comes ahead of next month’s party in convention in Killarney, which is expected to attract some 1,900 delegates.
Daly told the West Cork Times that if nominated he will focus on issues of importance to Kerry residents like the crisis in ambulance service, the need for more jobs in the country, the challenges facing home-buyers and the threats to small communities and rural areas in the wake of government budget cutbacks.
Daly was elected as one of the youngest members of the 23rd Irish Senate in the 2007 election, beating three incumbent party senators on the first count.
Before being elected a senator, Daly worked on election campaigns to the European Parliament for Brian Crowley MEP in 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009 as a member of Crowley’s strategy committee.
At the age of 26, Daly became the chairman of his local GAA club, the Kenmare Shamrock Hurling and Gaelic Football Club. On being made chairman, Daly led a redevelopment programme which transformed the club’s facilities to include a 32,000 square-foot flood-lit grass pitch with a sports complex, a basketball court, gym and dressing rooms.
Daly is facing a hard fight to secure support among the party’s members as Kerry enters a new period as a single Dail constituency.
Daly is expected to face competition for the seat from John Brassil, Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, as well as county councillors Norma Foley, Thomas McEllistrim and Michael O’Shea.
Only one candidate for the election will be selected at the convention.
by Stephen Johnson
FOR Robert and Andrea Whyte, owners of the Kenmare Centra convenience store, 2014 was a record year.
Andrea says the store greatly expanded its offerings of new healthier food ranges, boosted sales of its “own brand” range of products, and saw a sharp rise in pizza sales after introducing a pizza delivery service last spring.
Robert and Andrea have owned the Kenmare store for 20 years. The store employees 23 people, a major employment boost for a small town like Kenmare.
Andrea says that the Kenmare store has a loyal customer base, and does a brisk business from travellers and tourists, thanks to its location at the busy intersection of the Sneem and Molls Gap Roads. The store is a popular stop for cyclists touring the Ring of Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Way.
“Our hard-working, dedicated employees are a big reason for our success,” Andrea says.
Andrea, Robert and their employees are active in the community, donating thousands of euros each year to charities like the St. Vincent de Paul Society, KLAWs, local GAA teams and the Kenmare and Templenoe Rowing Clubs.
The success of the Kenmare store mirrors the success of the Centra chain nationwide. The company had record sales in 2014, taking in more than €1.5 billion – up 3 percent on the previous year.
Robert and Andrea attended this week’s annual conference in Killarney of Centra’s more than 460 franchisees, where Centra’s Managing Director Martin Kelleher announced plans to open 16 new stores in 2015, creating 380 additional jobs. Centra currently employs almost 11,000 people and serves over three million customers each week.
The chain sells more than €1.1 billion of Irish goods, with 7 per cent of all products sold in store produced or sourced in Ireland. An additional €60 million worth of products are sourced by stores locally from over 1,400 small local suppliers.
The Centra chain is run by Musgrave, the Irish food wholesaler, but the stores are all owned by individual franchisees like Robert and Andrea.