The George Lee Effect

June 4, 2009

For many the entrance of George Lee into the political arena has been a breath of fresh air and given the electorate a sense of hope, much absent in our political and economic landscape this past 6 months.

Recycle or Respray: Stephen O'Shea

Recycle or Respray: Stephen O'Shea

With his appearance on the Fine Gael ticket many voters, otherwise undecided or reluctant to vote Fine Gael, now feel his presence brings credibility, weight and true opposition to Fianna Fail.

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Down the lanes and alleyways – there are 6 votes here

June 3, 2009

On one of my recent nights out on the campaign trail I discovered an alleyway leading off from the main road.  My feet were sore, I was tired and hungry. But, it was one of those lovely, balmy evenings just before dusk.  I know my constituency pretty well but I haven’t been down all the lanes and alleyways. Stephen O'Shea on the campaign trail

My natural curiosity overpowered the tired feet and pangs for a bag of chips and a beer.  I headed down and around and came across a house I’d never known existed, tucked away from sight and sounds of the bustle of suburban Dundrum. There were all these people sitting around having a natter and a beer.  Too late to back away now.  My heavy plodding turned the crowd to face me.  I said my piece – I’m your Independent Candidate in the upcoming Dundrum elections.  They were as surprised as I was by the home owner’s response.  “In the 30 years I’ve lived here I’ve never been canvassed before”.  “There are 6 votes here but my Aunt is from Co. Laois”.

To coin a cliché, sometimes it’s worth going the extra mile!

Is there anyone listening? The Virtual Politician

June 2, 2009

Blogs, twitter, Obama, social media, facebook, Obama, YouTube, online presence, Obama.

Stephen O'Shea's use of social media

Stephen O'Shea's use of social media

I joined the political race only a few months ago, as a candidate in the Dundrum local elections. My motivation is less about the politics and more about our local, community issues.  I’ve been involved in various community and resident groups over the last couple of years.  I’ve despaired at some of the decisions that have sneaked past us – a 90 metre high proposed hotel as part of Phase 2 of the Dundrum shopping centre development, that will dominate our landscape and overshadow our streets and view of the Dublin mountains, for instance.

When I say sneaked past, that’s not to claim there was no notice that this was what was included in the planning documents (it was all there for any resident to review and raise an objection) but our individual and collective lack of care and attention meant a less than rigorous exchange with the council and the developer.

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The Urban Farmer – a case for better use of derelict land and green sites

May 24, 2009
Urban farming. Stephen O'Shea Independent Candidate Dundrum Locl Elections

Urban farming. Stephen O'Shea Independent Candidate Dundrum Locl Elections

On last night’s canvas I came across an alternative front garden in my Churchtown constituency.  This was no cottage garden festooned with herbaceous borders and Spring colours or a Celtic Tiger landscaped urban cool car port.  It was something entirely different – a display in precision and elegance with beautifully dug trenches and carefully planted potato crops!  Yes, I did do a double-take.  It seems our urban farmer is the talk of the street.  But, she is doing no more than following a world-wide phenomenon.

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The disappearance of the Dropping Well Rhino

May 23, 2009
Dropping Well Rhino- too much to drink?

Dropping Well Rhino- too much to drink?

It was a wet week on the campaign trail and the spirits of the voters were down.  Bad weather, bad government, gloomy economic forecasts.  Not much to cheer.  George Lee did his best to add some optimism, smiling at us from atop the poles (if you’ll forgive the pun).   But, even he couldn’t allay my fears around the possible re-zoning of the Holy Cross School.  I duly turned up at the Fine Gael public meeting and addressed my questions on the issue to George.  The answer was vague.  But that’s ok.  As I keep saying let’s vote local on the local issues and national in the bi-election.  George doesn’t have to concern himself with the Holy Cross School: I do as do George’s Fine Gael councilor candidates.

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May 22, 2009

Today, the Dundrum Gazette featured the issue of the rezoning of the Holy Cross School with extensive quotes from myself.

The article is reprinted in full here.

SOS vs3

Rezoning no threat to school

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has down played fears over the possible rezoning of the lands at the Holy Cross National School in Dundrum to a mixed use development in a new Draft County Development Plan.

A spokesperson for the council said that a rezoning of the lands at Holy Cross would in no way “suggest that the school is under “threat”

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Free Bus to Shops for over 65s

May 21, 2009

vantastic 1

This will be one of my first initiatives.  A similar scheme, part-funded by Dublin City Council, operates in Dublin North through Vantastic Charity:

This will make life easier for many in our community – not just the over 65s but their carers too.  This will be one of the issues that I will take up in my role as Councillor, should I be elected. vantastic 3