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McGettigan likely to take SF Council seat

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SHANNON’S Donna McGettigan is likely to replace the late Mike McKee on Clare County Council.

This week Ms McGettigan confirmed she is interested in taking up the role and it is understood that the local party are also set to support her.

Ms McGettigan actually ran in the Ennis Municipal District for last year’s local elections, despite the fact that she was living in Shannon.

In the coming days, invitations will be sent out to Sinn Féin members in the area who would be eligible to take on the role. Following this, there is likely to be a selection convention towards the end of the month.

Speaking this week, Ms McGettigan confirmed she would be looking to fill the seat. “Mike himself would have asked me before he passed if I would put myself forward. Gary Fitzgibbon was interviewed about it and a lot of people afterwards would have suggested myself. As I walk through the Town Centre I’m always asked will it be yourself. My name will be in the mix.”

Ms McGettigan lives in Purcell Park in Shannon while she works part time at her uncle’s printers, and also works part time at Ace Cabs.

Asked about her priorities if she does take the County Council seat, Ms McGettigan said, “I would try and continue what Mike has done. I’ve worked already on behalf of Shannon people and all over Christmas I was emailing the council on different issues that people had come to me with. I’ll continue to fight for local services and we’re going to continue to fight to have the park named after Mike because he did an awful lot of good work.”

She said that housing and health services are currently the biggest issues in the area.

Originally from Belfast, Ms McGettigan has spent most of her life in Shannon. In an interview with The Clare Champion prior to last year’s local elections, she spoke about her republican background.

“My granny Kathleen Murray had to go on the run with her children. My granddad was interred at Long Kesh at the time. She had to find a house on her own with the kids, she had to find a job, feed and clothe them. All on her own. She’s my inspiration.

“She kind of helped set up the local Sinn Féin cumann in Shannon and she got into politics through that. Growing up, she was our hero.”

On returning to education as an adult she said, “My daughter, about two weeks before her Leaving, she pulled out of it. She wasn’t having a great time at school, she had come out as gay. I couldn’t argue with her and say the Leaving Certificate is the most important thing because I hadn’t done mine, so we agreed she would do a course that would have English and Maths as part of the exams and I would do the Leaving Cert. She’s my inspiration. She is true to herself.”

In January of 2018 Ms McGettigan was elected onto the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle and speaking at the time, she said, “Indirectly, for many year’s Clare has had a voice at the executive level of Sinn Féin.

“But, now with my election to the Ard Comhairle, I plan to bring the feelings of local people, the opinions of Clare, and the Ireland South Constituency to Sinn Féin at a National level.

“As Sinn Féin prepares for the next general election and to future talks on the formation of government. Clare will be directly involved in the build-up to these future decisions.”

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.