Fianna Fáil members in Dublin South-West have selected unanimously Councillor John Lahart as the party’s candidate for the forthcoming bye-election to fill the vacant Dáil seat in the constituency.
Councillor Lahart who is from Rathfarnham and lives in Knockylon is a member of South Dublin County Council. He runs a Psychotherapy Practice and business in Rathfarnham.
John Lahart is a member of the Tallaght Drugs Task Force, Chair of South Dublin County Council’s Economic Development and Tourism Strategy Committee and is a former Board Member of Firhouse Community College.
Following the convention Councillor Lahart said: “There’s been a real sense over the last few weeks that the Government has turned its back on people in Dublin South West. Brian Hayes, who was the most senior and most visible Minister for State for the last three years, was encouraged to leave for Europe and the senior Minister in the constituency Pat Rabbitte was sacked last week. When you add this to the cuts and extra charges the Government have hit people with, there is a need for a strong voice to represent the needs of ordinary people in the constituency.
“There are three issues I want to put at the heart of this bye-election campaign, housing, employment and mental health. These issues are extremely important for Dublin South West and Fianna Fáil has produced a number of detailed proposals in these areas to drive real change to help people in job creation, the provision of additional housing and tackle mental health difficulties.
“Fianna Fáil previously enjoyed the trust and confidence of having TDs elected to the Dáil for this constituency. As a new candidate to national politics I want to try to re-connect with people who may have given their support to the party in the past. I want the opportunity to win back their trust and support.
“I want take this opportunity to thank my colleague and friend Charlie O’Connor. Receiving Charlie’s nomination and endorsement for this important election campaign for the party is of huge significance to me, particularly given Charlie’s well known close association with Tallaght. He has represented the people with great commitment and energy for over 10 years and I look forward to working with him in the weeks and months ahead.”
Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin commented: “I am delighted John has the support and confidence of the party members in Dublin South West to contest the forthcoming bye-election. As well as serving on South Dublin County Council John has campaigned for many years on mental health issues and understands the importance of tackling many issues facing families across this constituency from mortgage arrears to unemployment and the loss of vital social services. This will be a very important campaign for the party and in John we have a strong, determined candidate who would be an excellent Dáil representative for the people in Dublin South West.”