Ged Nash is a Labour Senator for Drogheda. He is 44 years-old and was born in Drogheda. A former teacher at St Oliver’s Community College in Drogheda and once a PR consultant to trade unions and the non-for-profit sector, Ged was elected onto the Drogheda Town Council in 1999 and was co-opted onto Louth County Council in 2000, replacing Patsy Kirwan. He was re-elected in 2004 and 2009, with an unsuccessful General Election bid sandwiched in between in 2007.
The second time around, in 2011, he was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Labour TD for Louth. He was appointed Minister for Business and Employment with special responsibility for small business and collective bargaining in 2014, becoming the first cabinet minister from Drogheda.
He lost his seat in 2016 and was elected to the Seanad, where he has sat ever since. Ged also served as Mayor of Drogheda for a term between 2004 and 2005. Here, he is the first of this year’s general election candidates to take our ‘getting to know you’ questionnaire.
Editor’s Note: All candidates running in the Louth constituency received the same questions.
/ What would you describe as your personal ‘signature’ issue in this election?
“Fairness and decency for all our people.”
/ Why should someone vote for you/your party?
“I have a track record of delivering for the area. For over twenty years I’ve worked to improve the quality of life of my fellow citizens. If elected I pledge to continue to do so. I am honest, hard working and I can get things done.”
/ Whether you are a new candidate or seeking re-election, what drove you to stand for public office?
“I’ve always wanted to help build a better life for myself, my family and for my neighbours.”
/ What, in your opinion, is the most pressing issue in the Louth constituency?
“Health, crime and jobs at what people are most concerned about.”
/ Do you believe that society works for all? Explain your answer and if not, how do you propose to change that?
“No, I don’t. We still have too many people left behind. That’s where government come in. That’s why my party matters. We walk the walk on pushing for an equal society.”
/ What message would you give people who feel alienated by the political system and who do not intend to cast a vote on February 8?
“An unused vote is a wasted opportunity to change the status quo. Sitting at home won’t change things. Fine Gael will get their voters out. Not voting is nothing more than telling Leo to fire ahead!”
/ The gap between the richest people in society and the poorest continues to grow. How can this society be made more equitable?
“Through making sure there is equal opportunity for all – in the education system, in early life childcare. And it also needs greater tax redistribution away from the wealthy and towards lower earners. One of my proudest achievements has been to bring back and increase the minimum wage. A vote for me is a vote for those people who want to see a Living Wage introduced.”
/ If you get elected, what one aim would you like to achieve in your first 100 days in Dail Eireann?
“It depends on what my role is. But whether I’m a minister or an opposition back bench TD, my main aim will be to earn the trust and confidence of those who didn’t vote for me.”
/ What, in your opinion, gives you the edge over your fellow candidates in this election?
“My hairstyle? Actually, it’s probably the fact that people know what they are getting with me. A hard worker, a straight talker, and someone who likes to deal with people.”
/ Who is your hero, and why?
“I have two. My mum and my wife. Both of them have shown me what strength of character is really about.”
/ What do you do to relax?
“I have a great bunch of friends and enjoy dinners out. I catch as many Friday night games at United Park. And I get to the odd gig.”
/ What’s your favourite song and why?
“Keane – “This is the Last Time”. Was playing when I met my wife.”
/ What’s your TV guilty pleasure?
“Saturday night TV with Gary Lineker. And my wife watches too.”