Paul Hayes has been selected as Sinn Fein candidate for the Cork South West constituency for the next general election.
A native of Clonakilty, 40 year old Hayes now lives in Courtmacsherry with wife Gertie and three children Tiernan aged 12, Lorcan aged 9 and Nadine aged 6. Working as Quality and Training Manager for the Bandon based distributors of Java Republic coffee company.
A member of Sinn Féin for over almost 20 years, holding various positions at Cumann(Clonakilty), Comhairle Ceanntar(West Cork), Cuige(Munster) level, regional spokesperson during opposition to Lisbon Treaty campaigns, and former member of the Ard Chomhairle(national executive). Selected by his peers in West Cork SF to represent the party at the 2011 General Election, Hayes garnered a very respectable 3,346 first preference votes. Served as a member of Clonakilty Town Council from 2004 – 2009.
Was elected to Cork County Council, representing the West Cork Municipal District, in 2014. He is a member of the Roads & Transportation SPC (strategic policy committee), Tourism SPC, Coastal Management Committee and is currently the deputy chairman of the Western Division of the council. He was also nominated by the Munster Cuige to represent the party in the most recent Seanad elections, but was unsuccessful at Ard Chomhairle level, where former TD Padraig MacLoughlin was selected instead.
Paul was nominated by the Clonakilty SF Cumann before the recent convention, which was held in the Parkway Hotel Dunmanway, and was selected unanimously by members representing all of the cumainn in West Cork, which was chaired by West Cork SF cathaoirleach Sam Simpson. The convention was also attended by former town councillors Donnchadh O Seaghdha, Tim O’Leary and Cionnaith O Suilleabhain, Cllr Rachel McCarthy and Ireland South MEP Liadh Ni Riada, who all spoke very warmly of the newly selected candidate.
Since being elected to Cork County Council, Cllr Hayes has campaigned for more social housing to ease the huge housing and homelessness crisis, and if elected to the Dail would work to decrease the bureaucracy that faces Local Authorities when trying to progress housing projects. He has also been part of council delegations who met the Minister for Transport on several occasions, trying to progress infrastructural projects in West Cork, and would continue to lobby for investment in roads, mobile phone coverage, broadband rollout, and vital wastewater and mains water facilities.
He has worked closely with Liadh Ni Riada MEP in promoting the interests of coastal communities and has brought the plight of Irish fishermen to the attention of EU officials in Brussels. Active in his community, Paul is a director of environmental group Sustainable Clonakilty, synonymous with local initiatives such as the Clon Bike Scheme and represented the region at the recent Green Destinations Seminar and awards in Lisbon. He is on the Board of Management of Barryroe National School, committee member of the Seven Heads Wild Atlantic Way campaign, a director of the Courtmacsherry Community Shop and PRO of the Clon Youth Centre committee.