Hailing from Poolboy, people may know her parents -Tony and Teresa Dolan. Her mother’s family, the Caulfields, were also from Poolboy. Aisling Dolan grew up helping out on the farm both in Poolboy and in Ballydangan in Moore with her Dad and three brothers Brian, Darragh and David. Along with both parents working on a suckler herd farm, Tony worked in the former “Ducks” pub, which is now Venezia restaurant and Teresa, a retired nurse, also worked in Square D and the ESB. Aisling worked for over a decade with Enterprise Ireland and then Science Foundation Ireland. She joined the team at NUIG four years ago as a project manager, where she worked with researchers on funding applications. Her latest role has been with Health Innovation Hub Ireland, working with healthcare teams in public hospitals and community care to support people with ideas to improve healthcare. She also travelled and worked teaching English in Belfast, Belgium, France, Spain and Australia.
The new Senator was elected to Galway County Council in May 2019 as an independent, stood as a Fine Gael Candidate in the February Election, polling a solid 6000 first preferences and contested the Agricultural Panel for the Senate before being made one of the Taoiseach’s nominees in July of this year. “I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who gave me a vote on the ballot paper in all the elections. We have had three elections in less than 12 months and the vote we achieved in the General Election is thanks to the help of a phenomenal team and support across Roscommon & East Galway” stated Aisling. She believes the town is a fantastic strategic location on the M6 motorway, excellent rail and transport links, with over 14,000 in the hinterland and a highly educated workforce with third level graduates and business focused apprenticeships. “It is an ideal place for start-ups, small businesses expanding operations or SME’s looking for reasonable cost locations. The newly formed Pulse Club is a dynamic group driving people with new ideas and start-ups” explains Aisling. Her main priorities have always been Health, Investment & Environment, as a Councillor and now as a Senator. Her immediate focus will be to ensure our healthcare system is robust for the months ahead, facing the Covid-19 crisis and supporting healthcare teams. Also, to ensure businesses can get access to supports and finance to get back up and going.
Some projects she will help push to complete is the 50-bed unit at Portiuncula University Hospital. She will continue to work with BACD on Towns & Villages Accelerated Measure and Strand 2 funding for Ballinasloe and farming supports access to REPS 2 scheme, farm safety. She continues to work on many greenway projects throughout East Galway and Roscommon. She insists the Enhancement Scheme will be a progressive addition. “Absolutely! Now in 2020, we can lay claim to having the newest streets in Ireland! Dunlo Street is really looking fantastic and Society Street is due to be opened up shortly” states Aisling. “Remote Working Incentives / Co-Working Hubs, this is important as people are working from home or from a hub in Ballinasloe town instead of hours commuting to Galway, Limerick, Athlone or Dublin – it will add to overall quality of life if people stay local. Business Investment & Supports – Restart Grant, commercial rates waiver and to extend the Wage Subsidy Scheme in the July Stimulus package. Just Transition Fund – Ballinasloe is the main town for Shannonbridge which was recently impacted by job losses at Bord na Móna and ESB. This fund is crucial to offer other employment opportunities or reskilling for people and families impacted, these are all practical actions that I will help realise “, explains Aisling.
The importance of community has been made hugely relevant to everyone during this COVID pandemic - people who have offered help during ‘community call’ particularly our sports clubs, meals on wheels and Social Services. Along with everyone on the frontline – healthcare workers, Gardaí, An Post – delivering groceries and medications to our more vulnerable people to name but a few, we have to salute them all ! Aisling will be opening an office soon in Ballinasloe and in Roscommon town and will hold clinics throughout East Galway & South Roscommon. Please do contact her on 086 3690719, by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
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