Susan Gallagher has been selected by the Green Party to fill the City & County Council vacancy initially created by Marc Ó Cathasaigh’s Dáil election and briefly occupied by Laura Swift, who had to step down due to work commitments.
Ms Gallagher was selected for co-option following an online selection convention of party members in the Tramore & Waterford City West Local Electoral Area (LEA) and a subsequent postal vote.
A native of Dublin and a Waterford resident since 2008, Susan Gallagher is a Civil Engineer who lectures at WIT’s School of Engineering.
Since 2018, she has been secretary of the Waterford Green Party and in last year’s Local Election, she placed ninth in the six-seat Waterford South electoral area in terms of first preferences, winning 441 number ones.
Actively involved in the recent Yes Equality and Repeal campaigns, Ms Gallagher is also involved in community groups such as the Waterford Nature Parkrun, Sanctuary Runners and the Friends of the St John’s River. In her spare time, she also enjoys running and playing traditional Irish music.
“As a Green Party representative on Waterford City & County Council, I very much welcome the opportunity to work with my Green Party colleagues – Marc Ó Cathasaigh TD, Grace O’Sullivan MEP and Councillor Jody Power, as well as all of the other Councillors, to enhance life in Waterford,” she said.
“Coming out of the Covid-19 crisis, we are faced with new challenges and new opportunities and I look forward to working with my new Council colleagues as we bring our city and county through the challenging times ahead.”
Deputy Marc Ó Cathasaigh, who was part of the Green Party’s Programme for Government negotiating team, welcomed Councillor-elect Gallagher into her pending role.
“Susan stood in the local election in 2019 and did very well but didn’t quite make it over the line,” he said.
“I have worked with her over the last number of years in her role as Secretary of the Waterford Greens and she was heavily involved in canvassing for me during the General Election campaign. She has the groundwork done, and is well known and well respected in Tramore and the city. She brings outstanding experience to the table from her professional life but also as a community activist and campaigner. I am very happy to see her fill the seat I won in last year’s Local Election as I feel she will be a strong voice, a strong female voice and a strong green voice on Waterford City & County Council for Tramore and Waterford City West.”
Said Ms Gallagher: “I’m particularly keen to get started in my new role, given our new requirement to get around and live within the city while maintaining social distancing, (to see) that the Council provides for the needs of pedestrians and cyclists to allow them to live and shop locally. Local businesses have taken a huge hit and I am very conscious of the wonderful public realm we have in the city and how it will benefit us as we emerge from lockdown. I’m also very conscious that it can be difficult for people with disabilities to get around in Waterford and I look forward to working with my new colleagues in addressing that and other challenges which may arise…
“We are very lucky in Waterford to have the National Biodiversity Centre on our doorstep and I would like to see us work closely with them to ensure that we continue to do everything we can in the city and county to address this crisis. I’m conscious that despite the good work already done, there’s a lot still to do and the work is only beginning.”