Saturday 25 November 2017

TD Alex White has strong Sligo links

TD Alex White is in the running for Labour leader.
TD Alex White is in the running for Labour leader.

Paul Deering

DUBLIN TD Alex White who is going head to head with Joan Burton for the leadership of the Labour Party has strong Sligo links.

White's mother Agatha was born in the townland of Annaghowen, growing up on the shores of Lough Arrow.

Mrs White recalls: "Times were hard, but we always had enough.

"We grew up in a lovely area but the land wasn't good."

She moved to Dublin when she was 17 to work as a writing assistant.

She got a job as a clerical assistant in the Department of Social Protection before she married and started her family. She met her husband, Bob, a train driver, at a Legion of Mary event on Crowe Street.

Alex was the eldest of seven children and they grew up in Marino.

Every summer, Mrs White and her seven children would head to Sligo for five weeks where they'd help out at the family farm.

In 1979, tragedy struck when Alex's father died suddenly. This left his mother responsible for providing for a large family. Mrs White returned to work at the Department of Agriculture, while also raising her family.

Alex was educated at Trinity College and it was there that he met his future wife, Mary Corcoran. She is now a Professor of Sociology at NUI Maynooth.

They'll be married 25 years this year and they have two children.

Alex worked in RTÉ as a producer on the Gay Byrne Show.

During his time with RTE, he returned to education at night and subsequently qualified as a barrister. Alex's wife also has Sligo roots with her family hailing from Ballinafad.

Two of Alex's aunts live in Sligo town and his uncle lives where the family farm used to be.

Alex and his family travel to Sligo regularly to visit family and to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of Yeats' country.

The battle for the Labour leadership finishes on July 4th and all party members have a vote.

Sligo Champion

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