Know Your Candidate – Aaron Byrne

  1. What do you think are the 3 best things about you?

a) I’m easy going and always open to listening to people. I think that will make me a good representative for people.

b. I’m hard working and always keen to support others hard work in the community.

c. My family and friends. I wouldn’t be able to do any of the things I’ve done without the support of my close family and friends. In particular my wife Linda is probably my best asset, she pushes me to be better and is always there to support me.

2. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Thankfully there is a lot to choose from. I graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2014 with an honours degree in Philosophy and Political Science.

In 2015 I performed on stage in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin as part of the delegation from Kells Musical and Dramatic Society in the AIMS 50th Anniversary Concert.

It was a particular honour for me to lead the successful re-election campaign for President Michael D Higgins in Meath East in 2018.

Most recently I sang with Inspire Choral Group at Navan Choral Festival last Sunday where we placed first in our category after many years of close runner up performances.

3. What book has influenced you the most?

Hard to pin one down as being the most influential. 1984 by George Orwell had a big impact on me when I first read it, the last few pages in particular as Winston’s conversion is completed. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy has always been a favourite of mine too, I would say it had a major influence on my sense of humor and appreciation for the more absurd aspects of life. In terms of non fiction Machiavelli’s “The Prince” was a book that had a lot of influence on my political career, particularly as an example of what NOT to do. Conversely Plato’s Republic helped to inform my belief in social democracy and my firm belief that the states role in educating and caring for our children is essential for equality.

4. What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

Probably standing in this election. I have great respect and admiration for anyone that is willing to stand up for what they believe in and fight to achieve their goals. It takes courage to put yourself forward to the people and ask for their support, if elected you carry the burden of not only your own hopes and expectations but also all of those that voted for you and backed the vision that you put out there. That’s not something I take lightly.

5. When you’re having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better?

Talk to my wife Linda, she usually knows what to say to set me right. Taking out my frustrations in the virtual realm of video games normally helps too.

6. What do you think is the greatest invention of all time?   

Would the printing press be too obvious an answer? The advent of mass communication has been immeasurably important to the ability of people to organise and work together to achieve our goals.

7. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

Run towards yourself. Don’t be afraid to be genuine and be yourself, the minute you start to try and become what you ‘think’ people want you’ve already lost.

Don’t eat yellow snow comes in a close second.

8. If you were guaranteed to be successful in a different profession, what would you want to do?

I’ve always been passionate about politics so I think I would have to say something in professional political campaigning. I’ve ended up working in IT, which I love, but if I had the chance to work full time to fight for the rights of young people and to campaign for real, sustainable action on tackling climate change, and be successful in those endeavors I would jump at the chance.

9. If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?

How DO they get the fig into fig rolls? I don’t know that I have a serious answer for this question. Sometimes the mystery is what makes life interesting.

10. What is your vision for Kells?

I want Kells to be an open and inclusive town for every member of our community. I want to see a development plan for Kells that addresses the needs of people with disabilities and with other accessibility issues and makes Kells a more open and pedestrian friendly town.

I want to see more facilities for young people and more opportunity for young people to get involved with the design and implementation of those facilities so that they can become more involved and invested in their community.

I think Kells needs more green space and the provision of a large public park with amenities for all the different parts of our community would be a major boost for the town.

All of these things can help Kells become a more pleasant place to be and that will help with attracting more tourists to our town and encourage the people of Kells to spend more time in our town. Kells has a lot to offer from historical and cultural landmarks to a thriving artistic scene and I want to leverage all of these great assets in order to make Kells a must see tourist experience.

The main benefit of all of this would be to bring more employment and investment to the town and make Kells a great place in which to live and work.

That spirit of using Kells wealth of resources to their maximum potential must also extend to housing and if elected I will push to bring any and all unused housing stock and vacant properties back into use so that we can get people off waiting lists and into homes.

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