Countdown to the local elections - Friday, May 24
Fine Gael councillor John Hegarty who has represented Gorey for the past decade, has confirmed that he will seek a party nomination to run in the Wexford district in the forthcoming local elections.
Cllr. Hegarty who lives in Crosstown and is Deputy Principal of Wexford CBS secondary school, caused surprise in early February when he announced that he will step down as a public representative for Gorey in June after he has completed his term as Gorey district chairman.
He said his decision to live in Wexford for family and work reasons was 'a perceived barrier' to him running for re-election in Gorey. Living in Wexford district and serving in Gorey was never an issue for him, he said, but unfortunately there were others within the party who did not share this view.
Cllr. Hegarty has ended uncertainty about his political intentions by confirming that he wishes to run for election in Wexford although this was not his plan when he opted not to go forward in Gorey.
'However, over the last few weeks I have been approached by people I respect both inside the Fine Gael party and many others who have no political involvement, to see if I would consider allowing my name to go forward to contest the election for the Wexford district', he said.
'I thought back to the reasons I first got involved and they are still as valid now as then. I believe that people who care about their community and county have a duty to put themselves forward and attempt to improve things'. Cllr. Hegarty has served as chairman of Wexford County Council. He was chairman of County Wexford Gathering in 2013 and has led the Wexford Healthy County Committee since 2018.
Responsible for initiatives such as the Wexford Ambassador Programme and Wexford Day, he has been involved in the expansion of sporting/community facilities and festivals around the county. He has also battled on many local GAA pitches over the years.
The Kilanerin native said he counts himself lucky to be Deputy Principal of 'a fantastic school at the heart of the town'. As his wife is from Wexford and his work is here, he moved to Crosstown with his family a number of years ago, he said.
'I have a huge affection for the town and its people. I can say with confidence that it is a great place to live, work and raise a family. However, there are many opportunities for Wexford that are not being exploited and issues that need to be addressed, that need strong voices at local council level to make progress', he said.
With a proven ability to make things happen, he said he would be happy to lend his support to advancing Wexford and helping people who need support.
'I would hate to look back in 30 years time and say I had an opportunity to try to do something to progress Wexford but didn't have the confidence to take it on'.
'So I have allowed my name to go forward for convention next month. I want to thank those who have put me forward. It is a first step on a long journey.'
'Hopefully I will get the opportunity to represent the people of Wexford and influence the future direction of our town district and county to the best of my abilities. It is a big challenge but it is one I would really look forward to', he said. The Wexford FG selection will take place on March 1 with former newspaper editor Walsh and long-term party activist Angela Reville also in contention for nominations.