Co Kildare politician retiring after 15 years is adamant that text scandal still under investigation by Gardaí 'has no bearing on decision'

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Co Kildare politician retiring after 15 years is adamant that text scandal still under investigation by Gardaí 'has no bearing on decision'
By Louise McCarthy 14:00 Monday 21st of January 2019

A long serving Co Kildare politician is stepping down this May with assertions that a text scandal,  before a selection convention has nothing to do with his decision to leave politics.

South Kildare based, Fianna Fáil Cllr Martin Miley is confident that the Gardaí will discover who sent a text just ten minutes before a selection convention, in November, which claimed to be from Martin Miley encouraging people to select Brian Dooley, to take over Cllr Mark Dalton's seat. It is understood that the text sent from an unidentified phone number reached up to 100 members of Fianna Fáil members of the Athy Municipal District.

Regarding the text message controversy on November 19, last, Cllr Miley said: " It was something that upset me at the time but it had no bearing on my decision to leave politics. It is alarming for the future of politics in this country that someone could get away with it.  We will find out who did this."

42-year-old Cllr Miley, who served as  former Mayor of Kildare, and 15 years as Cllr, comes from a long line of politics with his grandfather Bill and father Martin Miley Senior.

He said:"To represent ones community on Kildare County Council is a great honour and great responsibility in which I hope I have represented our community to the best of my ability.  I haven't made this decision lightly but I do feel 15 years of continuous representation is a substantial period and would like to see someone with new ideas and a fresh approach."

The  Cllr, who will continue his job of water caretaker for Kildare County Council,  says that he now plans to spend more time with his wife Louise, children, Sarah, Anna and Paul, ranging in ages from 11 to four.

He said: "As a Cllr I could be four nights a week on the road, it was cutting into time for my personal life and interfering with family life. I would love to be on the sidelines now on the evening for matches."

Reflecting on his 15 years as a public representative, he said: "I have enjoyed my 15 years on Kildare County Council with highs and lows as the years pass on. Obviously being Mayor of the county in  2017 was a great honour and privilege, I relish that opportunity and I do hope I represented my community with dignity and pride. Attending almost 350 events throughout the county was a wonderful experience. It was an honour to represent Kildare in New York on Saint Patrick's Day. Signing the contracts for the now in construction widening of the M7 motorway which will be open in April and give fantastic traffic relief to 70,000 vehicles on a daily basis.  The handing over of social housing keys in Monasterevin and Kilcock and signing contracts for the construction of other social housing in Kildare was very important. Being chairperson  of the joint policing committee for the past five years has been an honour for me and something I am very passionate about. Policing is very important in any community. To work closely with the Garda management has been  enjoyable. The appetite to combat crime and particularly for older and vulnerable people is extremely important."

However, he is very disappointed that people in rural parts of Co Kildare are now finding it almost impossible to get planning permission to build a house, under new policies, unless their income is largely derived from agriculture.

Cllr Miley said: "Having a home is one of the most important things than any person or family can have. And it's vital that we work to continue to ensure homes for all. And down through the years this has been a challenge. And Rural planning is becoming next to impossible.  This has been a focus of the Mileys as councillors on Kildare county council. We are very proud that many families has been reared in rural County Kildare from the policies that the Mileys pushed at Council level. This needs to be continued."

The Cllr is not ruling out returning to politics.

He said: "I am still only 42 and that is young in politics."

Fiona O’Loughlin, TD for South Kildare has thanked current sitting Councillor, Martin Miley Junior on his time as a public representative for the Athy Municipal district.

Speaking on his decision to stand down, O’Loughlin said: “Cllr Martin Miley Junior has been an outstanding Public Representative for the Athy area and for the County of Kildare as a Councillor, Mayor and Chair of the Joint Policing Committee. It is never an easy decision to make as I know Martin has enjoyed every minute of his time as Councillor”.

Deputy O'Loughlin said:“I'm personally and politically disappointed he is not running again however, I absolutely respect his decision. Martin has been a great supporter of and flag bearer for Fianna Fáil for the last 15 years, and indeed his family have for 60 years, as well as being a personal friend of mine."

She said: “His Dad Martin Senior would be so proud of the contribution Martin has made to his beloved community and county, as are his mother Eileen and brothers and sisters. He leaves a strong legacy and will be hugely missed. Martin will be able to enjoy some family time with his wife Louise, their children Anna, Sarah and Paul. I wish Martin best of luck in all his future endeavours.”

Cllr Martin Miley Junior

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