Goleen TD Michael Collins is seeking your vote in the upcoming general election on Saturday 8th February.
Independent TD Michael Collins believes that Cork South-West has been forgotten by the government and he wants to put it back on the map in terms of health, older people, developing rural Ireland and roads, and agriculture and fisheries.
Michael feels very strongly about the issues surrounding Bantry Hospital, with nearly 2,000 people being affected.
‘We’ve seen a major crisis with Bantry Hospital and a lot of unanswered questions. The HSE are refusing to come back to me,’ says Deputy Collins.Alongside Deputy Danny Healy-Rae, Michael brought 1,500 people for cataracts, hip and knee procedures to Belfast. These were people suffering in pain and going blind.
‘There was also an embargo on our home help service. These issues are of massive concern to the people of West Cork and they didn’t warrant, in the government’s view, any great time to be dealt with,’ he adds.
Deputy Collins says the government has been caught out with regards to pensions. He knows the people are angry out there. They don’t want to work until they’re over 70.
Regarding housing, Michael wants to instil a belief that rural resettlement or a rural regeneration programme could be a way forward.
‘Towns and villages in rural Ireland are dying. If three, four or five families were brought into every town, it could turn things around.’
He also wants to improve the roads in West Cork.
‘We’re not looking for flyovers. We just need to put in a passing bay on the N71. I want to open up West Cork as a place for business, but it won’t open up if this government continues,’ he adds.
Coming from a farming background, Michael knows all too well the struggles that farmers and fishermen are facing.
‘I pleaded with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to deal with farming issues, there is a beef crisis out there and the Minister failed to do so.’
Stand with farmers
Deputy Collins stood with farmers, protesting alongside them outside the meat factory in Bandon.
‘Nobody cared about them. No politician or Minister wanted to be seen there. Even if you can’t resolve something, you must stand with, and talk to the people,’ he adds.
In relation to fisheries, he has called for a standalone Minister for Fisheries because he thinks there is a massive opportunity being missed by the country.
‘I speak on behalf of the people of Cork South-West. I am anti this government for the way they have treated the people of rural Ireland. I stand for each one of them and I’d appreciate if the people considered me for their number one vote on February 8th,’ concludes Deputy Collins.
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