herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

'Let's hope he can deliver as Taoiseach', say delighted locals

Sinead Healy was pleased
Sinead Healy was pleased

Citizens of Dublin West have a list of priorities, including schools, roads and swimming pools, that they urge their local hero Leo Varadkar to keep in mind.

The Taoiseach-elect was told to continue fighting for Castleknock as he settled in as the new Fine Gael leader.

While he will have worries such as Brexit, homelessness and Fianna Fail to deal with, he must not forget his roots, say his constituents.

Delight

The general reaction was one of delight - that someobody from their community would be leading the country.

John Sheridan (58), who lives a stone's throw from Mr Varadkar in Roselawn, called on him to concentrate on youth issues across the country.

John Sheridan was also pleased
John Sheridan was also pleased

"He's young, he seems positive and I genuinely believe that we need new blood - I think he will make a bit of a difference and I'm delighted for him," said Mr Sheridan.

"In fairness though, if [his rival] Simon Coveney had been elected, I would have wished him the best, but I would edge towards Leo.

"I just hope that he can deliver what he said he's going to deliver, and his local area is important.

"We could always do with extra schools because the number of kids in the area is growing.

"It'd be good to have more swimming pools. I hope the football pitches do improve, that kind of thing," he added.

Sinead Healy (44), from Tyrrelstown, said that Mr Varadkar had already been heavily involved in campaigning for more schools and improving services.

Change

"We're in the local school up the road and a lot of work has been done around there, so he seems to be promising and is a change to Enda Kenny," she said.

"He does fight for the area. He pushes for the new schools and that.

"I think that he'll probably get a little bit more done," she added.

Eadaoin Lysaght (52), from Castleknock, said she had met Mr Varadkar only once but was surprised "how shy he was", compared with how confident he appeared in his dealings with the media.

"He's lovely, he's great," she said. "I met him at a funeral one time. He's very shy, very quiet, I thought he'd be a great old chatterbox."

As international media continue to highlight that Mr Varadkar will become Ireland's first openly gay Taoiseach, Laura Stears (35), from Clonsilla, considered it to be a huge step for the country.

"I think it's fantastic, absolutely," she said.

"It has to be a good thing where people don't feel afraid anymore.

"It's not so much a gay thing anymore, we're all one community," she added.

Patrick Nelson (87), a Fine Gael party member who lives in Castleknock, said he had voted for Mr Varadkar.

However, he called for improvements to roads and infrastructure in the area.

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