Ryan confirms he's running in elections
Veteran Independent councillor Jim Ryan has confirmed that he is putting his name foreward for the Dundalk Carlingford constituency in the forthcoming local authority elections.
Cllr. Ryan is one of only two sitting Independents candidates seeking re-election on Louth County Council – the other being Cllr. Frank Godfrey in Drogheda.
He first got involved in politics after acting as a spokesperson for residents who were opposed to closing a right of way at The Clump.
'Some of the locals then called on me to stand for the 1999 election,' he said. 'I wasn't sure whether I was going to stand or not but then decided that if I didn't I'd always look back and regret it.'
With just two weeks to launch his campaign, Jim was delighted to take the third seat in the old Dundalk west ward, leaving two sitting councillors fighting over the last seat.
'The following election, 2004, I got the highest vote in Dundalk, topping the poll in my ward. Martin Bellew and Mary Grehan also topped the poll that election leading to the headline 'Independence Day' in the local paper.' He was also elected onto Louth County Council the same year and has successfully contested every election since.
He is a former chairman of the Dundalk Branch of the Distributive Workers Union which predated MANDATE in representing shopworkers, and has a long involvement with the GAA, being Honourary President of Clan na Gael GFC and club chairman for two terms.
He was an accomplished player on the field, playing for Louth Senior and Minor football teams, winning Louth Senior Football Championship medals, two Minor medals, and two hurling championships medals.