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Home » ABOUT CATHERINE

ABOUT CATHERINE

ABOUT CATHERINE

I have lived in Leixlip since 1978 and, together with my husband Derek, have raised two children (Alan and Yvonne) who are both adults now. The second eldest of the family with 5 brothers & 1 sister, we moved to Palmerstown in West Dublin with my parents Colm & Eileen when I was 10 years old where I remained until married.

Prior to that we had lived in Artane and Clontarf. Of my brothers & sisters, three have settled in Canada, the UK and New Zealand with their families, having emigrated in the 1970 and 1980’s.

I have been a full-time public representative since 1991, and have been actively involved in politics since 1983.

 

 

HOW & WHY I BECAME INVOLVED IN POLITICS

My initial involvement in politics was with local campaigns aimed at improving local services, these included seeking a permanent school building for Scoil Uí Dhálaigh, Leixlip. However the campaign against Local Service Charges introduced in 1983, was the earliest example of largescale active campaigning that spread right accross Kildare.

In 1983 the Coalition Government introduced a system of additional charges for local authority services to which there was much resentment. The sense of injustice that was felt by many in the PAYE sector, who at that time where shouldering more than 85% of the income tax burden, was so strong that a large number people in Kildare banded together to found The Leixlip and Kildare Residents Against Local Charges. A group that I was a founding member of.

We saw the service charges as a form of double taxation, and my own sense of grievance was heightened by the manner in which members of the golden circles at the top of the income ladder were, in many cases, sidestepping their tax obligations. The campaign was therefore very hands-on and indeed of great personal importance to many of us, and it proved to be a true baptism of fire. We continually faced water disconnections, there were court actions against us, and the threat of prosecution under the Offences Against the State Act (1939) loomed overhead.

CAMPAIGNING FOR IMPROVED TRANSPORT SERVICES

In 1987 I co-ordinated a survey on the public transport requirements of Leixlip residents in conjunction with CIE and on behalf of the Combined Residents Association. Some 1700 households were surveyed and the results were published on 1st May 1987 and some ten major improvements were identified in the course of the study. These included:

  • the doubling of the Maynooth Rail Line from Clonsilla to Maynooth
  • a bus service for the Captains Hill, Leixlip (66A)
  • a bus service for the Celbridge Road, Leixlip (66B)
  • City Speed services
  • Nitelink services

All of these improvements have since been introduced.


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