Jonathan O'Meara declares for next local elections

Banagher native Jonathan O’Meara has announced his intention to run in the next local elections with the full support of sitting Independent TD for Laois/Offaly Carol Nolan. The award-winning businessman will run as an independent candidate in the Birr Municipal District.

O’Meara is entering the political area on the back of the successful establishment of two thriving local businesses Mid Ireland Adventure and the Slieve Bloom Mountain Bike Centre.

A key focus of his campaign is advocating for the midlands as a tourist destination, with amenities at the Slieve Blooms, the River Shannon, and the Grand Canal as prime locations.

“Rural Ireland is open for business,” he says. “For many years, the people of this area were solely dependent on the ESB and Bord na Mona. Unfortunately, those jobs are gone and we now have to think outside the box. Tourism, and in particular, eco tourism are buzz words nationally and Offaly has the natural amenities to utilise and develop eco-tourism opportunities throughout the county.”

In addition to his business endeavours, O’Meara has been heavily involved in other local organisations. He was a secretary of Shannon Sub Aqua Club for seven years, a role where he helped the club obtain capital funding through a Sports Grant. He is also a secretariat with the Offaly Participation Network and ‘Green Offaly’ a voluntary co-operative that is aiming to set up a business hub and workshops in the area.

“It is clear that a lack of public housing and the rental crisis needs to be addressed because there are not enough for families and young couples who are starting out in life,” O’Meara continues. “Also, there is a severe lack of public transport. If we are building these destinations, we need an opportunity for people to get here.”

“I’ve always viewed politics through the eyes of what’s best for the people. I am very excited about this opportunity. If I set myself a goal, I like to achieve it as best I can. That’s been evident in setting up my business and if I am lucky enough to be elected, you can be assured I will give it 110% as a candidate.”

Speaking on the announcement, Independent TD Carol Nolan said she would be fully supporting O’Meara.

‘If elected as an independent councillor for the Birr Local Electoral Area, he will be a great asset in terms of promoting tourism, supporting businesses and identifying job creation opportunities in the Birr Municipal District," she said.

She said he would be a "strong and committed advocate" in highlighting all of the issues of concern to people and working collaboratively with various organisations and with herself as a local TD in seeking solutions to these issues.

"I look forward to continuing to work with Jonathan in his campaigning activities as an Independent candidate for the Birr Local Electoral Area and I know that if the communities of Birr Local Electoral Area support Jonathan and he is fortunate to be elected as their county councillor he will not only work hard but will also lead and deliver for these communities."