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My name is Marie Casserly (nee Bruen) from Streedagh, Grange, Co Sligo and I am an elected member of Sligo County Council since June 2014.

Married to Mel, I am the mother of 5 children ranging in ages from 7 to 12. I teach Irish and am also the school’s Guidance Counsellor in Saint Mary’s College, Ballisodare, Co.Sligo. I am a past pupil of Mercy College, Sligo. My academic qualifications include a degree in Politics and Irish (1993) and a H.Dip. in Education (1994) from the National University of Ireland Galway along with a Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance Counselling (2002) from the University of Limerick.
As an elected member of Sligo County Council I liaise with several voluntary and community groups, supporting them and making representation on their behalf. I work on behalf of my constituency on a daily basis making representation on various local issues and I have also raised issues a national level through Sligo County Council.

I am a North Sligo-based community activist with a strong track record in initiating and completing projects, which include the building of the playground in Grange and the founding of the Grange Men’s Shed Association. I am a qualified Family Mediator and an ASIST suicide prevention training participant. I am also a keen health and fitness advocate, and initiated a running group in Grange in 2009 which has since evolved into a very successful Senior Athletic Club. I have run a marathon and half marathons along with shorter distances on a regular basis. I also help coach girls Gaelic teams at an underage level. I have worked in conjunction with An Taisce, Clean Coasts, Grange Tidy Towns and Sligo County Council and have organised several highly successful National Spring Clean and Clean Coasts projects. I also liaise with sponsor groups in the community who benefit from Tús support through Sligo Leader Partnership.

Why Run For Election?
I have great respect and value for our community and rural life. I wish for our children to be able to live in and enjoy the communities they grew up in and not to be forced by lack of opportunity and lack of employment to leave their communities or leave Ireland.

Through my voluntary work as a community activist I’ve become aware of how difficult it is for ordinary people to access support and funding. The fact is that there is funding available for a range of projects that could benefit the community and the individual but unfortunately, I have found that it is very difficult to access these funds because of red tape and layers of bureaucracy.

It is the job of our local representatives to make sure that this situation is not allowed to continue. Funding access must be made easier for people and those of us who have succeeded in negotiating the difficulties involved with getting projects off the ground must help others to do so.

As contributors to our communities we need to look at the things we can affect. I know from experience that with work and determination we can build a playground or start a Men’s Shed or Community Alert. I know because I’ve done it. Fair and balanced investment in the regions such that all parts of the country gain economically. The recovery that the government is so keen to tell us about is not visible in the North West!

My priorities include;

  • Education investment from pre-school through to third level, including investment in a national system of childcare we all can be proud of and the establishment of a Technological University in the North West.
  • Infrastructural investment including the construction and upgrading of schools, the end to information poverty experienced among most rural communities because of atrociously poor broadband provision
  • Promoting and investing in small indigenous business and local enterprise.
  • Rural infrastructure upgrades and improvements such as Post Offices, Garda Stations, National Schools and rural crime prevention strategies
  • Supporting Farmers to enable them to have decent livelihood off the land to work on the farm and raise a family#
  • A fair health system that treats everyone with dignity and respect
  • Regional development of sustainable employment creation such as harnessing the enormous potential of our North West tourism potential

Fundamentally, I am running because I believe I can get things done. Now I feel it is time to bring that experience to bear for the wider community.

I’m running for you.

Marie.

 

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