Seán Kelly was elected to the European Parliament on June 8, 2009.
Seán Kelly understands the people of Munster and the needs of its many communities. A former teacher, from a farming background, he wants to bring a new face and a fresh approach to politics to ensure Ireland South gets the opportunities it deserves. He is a former President of the Gaelic Athletic Association and former Executive Chairman of the Irish Institute of Sport.
Rural Development The most important thing a Government should provide for its people is the chance to be able live, work, and raise a family in any part of the country, however regional or remote.
Thriving communities in rural regions need cultivation and support, especially in the face of a difficult economic climate.
The Rural Development Programme, primarily funded by the EU, has been dogged by delays.Programmes such as LEADER could kick-start rural enterprises and help to bring about real growth. However, proper infrastructure and support services are necessary.
Rural communities need support. They are bearing the brunt of cuts in local services; hundreds of Munster post offices have closed in the past eight years.
Rural recreational and social services must be developed so people of all ages, and in particular young people, have a good quality of life.
The planning process needs to reflect the needs of young people to settle in their own communities.
Agriculture My parents were dairy and sheep farmers and I spent a considerable part of my youth working the land.
We now have a suckler cow/beef enterprise, and as a result I have a very good understanding and appreciation of farm life and the importance of farming to the future of rural Ireland and the national economy.
Farmers face enormous challenges, but have never shirked their patriotic duty. It is imperative that we attract the best and brightest into the agri-sector.
Fine Gael believes now is the time to realise the true potential of our greatest indigenous industry and I will do everything I can to achieve this goal.
Fisheries The Irish fishing industry has both immediate and long-term difficulties. The future is bleak if immediate, direct financial aid is not delivered.
With an appropriate investment strategy, the potential for development is enormous. Ireland cannot afford not to develop the seafood sector.
As an MEP, I will prioritise aid for the marine sector.
Education and Sport As a former teacher, I know, better than most, the impact of education cuts. I have met with parents who have been battling for equality for their children for years.
Education is a critical area of public policy as it allows youth to achieve its potential.
Denial of proper education facilities costs the State in the longterm. As an MEP, campaigning for better educational and sports facilities will be one of my key priorities.
Health Fine Gael believes in universal health care and that the money should follow the patient, not management.
Health servicesshould be delivered because they are needed, not on the ability of the patient to pay.
Cork and Shannon Airports Jobs have been haemorrhaging from Munster. Cork and Shannon Airports are our key pieces of infrastructure.
But while every significant decision at Cork Airport requires approval from the Dublin Airport Authority it will never fulfil its potential.
Cork Airport requires an aggressive, independent marketing strategy. The Government's decision to delay setting up an independent Cork Airport until 2011 will severely damage its capacity to market itself and grow traffic into the future.
I pledge to lobby for every available resource for Cork Airport. I will do the same for Shannon.
It needs a promotional plan to inform tourists throughout Europe of the 'Pre-Clearance' US customs facility.
No other airport in Europe has this facility and it offers a huge competitive advantage to the region.
Seán Kelly - Profile President of the GAA 2003-06 First Kerryman to hold the office Elected by a record margin Oversaw completion of Croke Park Saw the Association through the opening of stadium to soccer and rugby Initiated major improvements in player welfare ESB Rehab Person of the Year, 2005 Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year, 2006 Awarded Honorary Doctorate by Dublin Institute of Technology, 2007 Former Chairman of Kerry Co GAA Board and Munster Council Founding Executive Chairman, Irish Institute of Sport Kerry Person of Year, 2008