59-year-old John Groarke from Tulsk is contesting this month’s local elections in the Roscommon Local Electoral Area as an Independent candidate. The bachelor farmer had previously entered the Irish Presidential race last year.
Mr. Groarke, who hails from Fairymount, failed to receive a nomination from local authorities, but learned a few valuable lessons along the way.
“I learned that it wasn’t a level playing field for starters. The President of Ireland (Michael D Higgins) had a monopoly and the three main parties joined together to get their man elected,” he said.
John is once again hoping to represent the “ordinary working man” as he canvasses for votes in Roscommon. His main motivation he says, is to represent schoolchildren and younger people as they campaign to save the environment, an issue close to his heart.
The Tulsk man doesn’t believe the elected Independent TDs have done enough for ordinary Irish men and women and he also believes more needs to be done to protect farmers and to create jobs in rural Ireland.
“The way I see it there needs to be a big overhaul of the beef industry and the farming industry as to how the farming community sells their produce. The main players are the meat factories and the supermarkets and they’re getting too big of a chunk…the farmers are only getting a minor cut of it,” he said.
“If I’m elected I will be promoting issues including the environment, an overhaul of the agricultural sector and job creation, and of course Brexit is another issue. Brexit was ill thought out by the Tory party and it’s time the people of Ireland stood up for themselves,” he said before suggesting that members of the Irish diaspora overseas hit the British and European economies “where it hurts” in order for Ireland to be heard in the Brexit debate.