09 Feb Daily Canvass Tracker | Mayo Matters from the Doorsteps
Why vote for me?
I’m going canvassing, and you can keep up to date
This is my first election campaign. While I’m a new candidate, I have as much fire in my belly for this campaign as any other candidate.
Canvassing in January will be tough, but I mainly worry about my team of canvassers more than myself. But they want to come out and speak to the people, knock on the doors and have conversations.
I know as a new candidate you can’t review my political record. So I thought I would bring you along with me on the canvass trail throughout Mayo between now and February 7th, polling day eve.Follow my Canvass Tracker from #Mayo - my daily blog of my first election! #VoteAlanDillon #GE2020 Click To Tweet
What is the daily canvass tracker?
It’s a look behind the scenes of my canvass with updates from the doorsteps and a report back on the issues that are coming up. I won’t of course be sharing private conversations, but it’s more of a live blog with daily updates.
If you want to contribute to this blog post with your thoughts and ideas, then get in touch by sending me a message via this website (it comes right into my inbox on my phone). You can also send me a private message on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.
The issues coming up at the doors
Throughout the 3-week campaign I kept track of all the issues raised at the door with me. I created this infographic to document those that came up most frequently.
A little bit about me
I represent a new generation of public representatives eager to work hard for the people of Mayo and my country with energy, honesty and absolute integrity. Proud to call Castlebar home, I am married to Ashling, a business owner in the town and we recently became parents to baby Shay.
Connect with me on LinkedIn and view my educational and professional background.
• M.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Science from the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland
• Postgraduate Diploma in Education from NUI Galway
• B.Sc. in Applied Mathematics and Biology from Maynooth University
My professional career spans post-primary teaching to the fast-paced corporate environment, working as a scientist with some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the country.
Just after 2:00am on 10th February, I was elected to the 33rd Dail and it was a very very proud moment, surrounded by family and supporters. Thank you to everyone who voted for me. Now it’s over to me to deliver.
Day 24 | Election day!
My final message to the voters.
I cast vote and gave myself No 1. What will be the outcome? At this stage, it’s just a nervous waiting game.
Countdown to #GE2020: It’s election day!
Day 23 | Election eve!
The final canvass was in Castlebar with a big push from myself and my team. I want to end this campaign knowing I’ve left nothing on the pitch.
I also visited Breaffy National School and its environs. I got a tour of the new expansion by Principal George Moran this morning.
Countdown to #GE2020: 2 days to go!
Day 23 | Canvass raises issues around jobs, broadband & infrastructure
Here’s some canvass photos!
We also spent today in Boholo had a great canvass.
Countdown to #GE2020: 3 days to go!
Enda Kenny kindly canvassed with me throughout this campaign.
I visited a tremendous business in Kiltimagh, CMS provides invaluable service jobs.
Day 22 |
Countdown to #GE2020: 4 days to go!
Day 19 |
Daily round-up video.
Countdown to #GE2020: 5 days to go!
Day 18 |
Behind the scenes of a canvass.
Daily round-up video.
Countdown to #GE2020: 6 days to go!
Day 17 | Canvass in Castlebar, Balla and Achill
A massive thanks to everyone whom we met, listened to and had chats with today. It’s the last weekend of this campaign so we are making the most of it, meeting as many people as possible.
We were out and about in Castlebar and met with the R132 campaigners. Their ask is vital.
Then we canvassed in Achill and Balla. Huge community spirit in these parts and lots of conversations with Enda, Dr Jim Broderick and I on how his seat must be retained for the benefit of the county.
It was a great canvass and our biggest numbers so far in the Blue Brigade.
I ended the day in McHale Park. Fans always as supportive as ever.
Here’s my daily canvass video
Countdown to #GE2020: 7 days to go!
Day 16 | Ballyhaunis Canvass & Supporting Disability Services
The canvass team were in Ballyhaunis today, stopping my Ronan’s Bar in Bekan.
Here’s my daily canvass video.
People with disabilities from across Mayo gathered at the Enable Ireland centre in Castlebar today to ask general election candidates to commit to secure more funding for disability services. The Castlebar meeting was hosted by Enable Ireland and was attended by staff, service users and supporters as well as disability providers in Mayo, including the Rehab Group, Irish Wheelchair Association, Western Care, NCBI, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland and Chime.
Countdown to #GE2020: 8 days to go!
Day 15 | Protecting Family Farms
I was in Ballinrobe today and met with farmers at Ballinrobe Livestock Mart. John Bradly kindly accompanied me and we discussed how to protect family farms at a time when farming is under threat. Farming has long been a staple industry here in Mayo and we have to support farmers in a time of great change and also encourage young members of families to get involved.
Later in the day I canvassed Knock and journalist Karl O’Kane from the Irish Daily Star. You can read his piece with me in Saturday’s paper.
Countdown to #GE2020: 9 days to go!
Day 14 | Mental Health
Back on the canvass trail and today marks two weeks of the general election campaign. My support team is growing by the day as momentum builds. We take nothing for granted in this political race, but I know I can turn this support into a seat at Dáil Éireann. Believe me when I say, that this seat is for the people and I’m a voice to serve and deliver.
Countdown to #GE2020: 10 days to go!
Day 13 | Snowed in and canvass cancelled
The west was awake with the beautiful blanket of snow, but it meant calling a halt to canvassing.
Countdown to #GE2020: 11 days to go!
Day 12 | Sunday 26 January | Ardagh GAA Awards
I was delighted to be invited to Ardagh GAA Club for their annual prize-giving. As you can see from the photos below it was a night of sheer pride for players, coaches and parents. Well done everyone!
Back on the canvass trail there were a range of issues raised from jobs to health and education.
Countdown to #GE2020: 12 days to go!
Day 11 | Saturday 25 January | The Ballinrobe Canvass
We canvassed in Ballinrobe today, and met the people that keep this town alive and kicking.
As always, I’m grateful to my canvass team who give over their time for this campaign.
There’s Maria Walsh MEP and former MEP Jim Higgins too! They really do enjoy canvassing and it was great to have them along this morning and afternoon.
Countdown to #GE2020: 13 days to go!
Day 10 | Friday 24 January | GMIT a Technical University
How about new Degree and Master’s programmes at GMIT Mayo?
This was the big takeaway from the doorsteps this evening.
Thanks for watching Day 10 of my #GE2020 canvass.
Countdown to #GE2020: 14 days to go!
Day 9 | Thursday 23 January | Mental health and disability support
Mental health and disability support are so important to Mayo. I’m committed to making our mental health and disability services a priority,
We all have a space in our head, an idea in our mind, a challenge we are trying to figure out.
Mental health, learning and disability support must be an intrinsic part of our local and national health services. It is a priority for me, now and if elected.
Watch Day 9 of my daily canvass tracker.
Countdown to #GE2020: 15 days to go!
Day 8 | Wednesday 22 January | Parent & Toddlers and Climate Action
It’s probably a great reminder why we need to take action on climate change. We are facing the biggest challenge of our living years by attempting to reverse the impact of climate change. I was at the re-launch of the Turlough Parent and Toddlers group this morning and the new mums spoke to me about the future of Mayo and Ireland for their children. I was also responding to media queries and this topic came up.
I believe that Mayo can be the first carbon neutral county in Ireland if there are the necessary government supports in place. But as we all know, we have to take personal responsibility too.
Tonight my Blue Brigade and I are out in Castlebar and the team just keeps growing. I think we have 23 people tonight.
Watch today’s canvass update video.
Countdown to #GE2020: 16 days to go!
Day 7 | Tuesday 21 January | Nomination papers, canvassing and Ballyheane National School
Today was a busy one. I officially joined the race for the Dáil when I submitted by nomination papers to Returning Officer, Fintan Murphy at Castlebar Courthouse.
I was delighted to have my wife Ashling with me, as well as Finian Burke and Kathleen Coady.
Meanwhile, the media covered news of Ballyheane National School’s funding under the Approved Accommodation Scheme. Funding of €276,000 will provide for for an additional classroom, ensuite facility and a further special education teaching classroom. Read more here.
The canvassing continues in Castlebar.
This evening there were three key issues emerging:
> The implementation of Slaintecare
> Charging points for electric vehicles
> Strategic development zone at Ireland West Airport Knock
Countdown to #GE2020: 17 days to go!
Day 6 | Monday 20 January | The heart of Castlebar, its people
Today we focused on the heart of Castlebar for the canvass and met great people. The team is growing too, and I appreciate every step everyone is taking with me on this election journey. This canvass and campaign is for the team win. Watch my video with a day six update.
There’s a real spirit and optimism in our canvass.
In other news, Fine Gael launched their child health plan which was warmly received. I published full details on my website. Read it here.
🛑 Health Care for Children 🛑
✅Extension of free GP care to all under 18s by 2025
✅ Removing hospital charges for children
✅ Free dental care for under 16s
✅ A baby box for every newborn
Countdown to #GE2020: 18 days to go!
Day 5 | Sunday 19 January | The high-ways and by-ways of Mayo
Sunday and it was time to meet the folk of Killawalla. Killawalla or Killavally as it says on the sign (see below) is seven miles from Westport on the R330 road to Ballinrobe. Saint Patrick is alleged to have passed this way en route to Croagh Patrick, and accordingly the local Catholic church is named after him.
Back in the office after a full day of canvassing, we gathered our thoughts and reflected on our first week at the doors. The past 650+ days since being selected as a Fine Gael candidate have been leading to these days of meeting people and asking for the number one vote.
I appreciate that I don’t have a political record for people to judge me on, but I have an educational, professional and sporting record that demonstrates my values and commitment to things that I care about. I care a lot about Mayo, so much so I want to represent my home county to be able to improve the lives of our people. That is my inspiration and aspiration for political life.
I came in the door to Ashling and Shay after a long day and Elaine’s post on Facebook, kind of sums up exactly much of what I want to say about going into politics.
Finally to end the first Sunday of the canvass, here’s the top three issues at the doorsteps.
Countdown to #GE2020: 19 days to go!
Day 4 | Saturday 18 January | Up and out early
It doesn’t matter that it’s -3 degrees in Mayo this morning. This team of canvassers are eager to get out early and meet the people and have meaningful conversations.
Today’s plan is
Out and about in Kiltimagh
Watch my update from the canvass trail today
Countdown to #GE2020: 20 days to go!
Day 3 | Friday 17 January | Men’s Shed in Kiltimagh and a Castlebar Canvass
Back on the canvass trail and this time it’s in Kiltimagh. I visited the Men’s Shed which is an invaluable community resource for men. You know they did say I could hang around all day, but sure I had to carry on with canvassing.
On a more serious note, Men’s and Women’s sheds have become a vital element in the fabric of our communities and have done so much to tackle social isolation. There are 20 Women’s and Men’s Shed’s in Mayo and they do wonderful work.
In 2018, my colleague Minister Michael Ring introduced funding for Men’s Sheds in recognition of the great support that they provide to men in communities across Ireland. Since its establishment less than ten years ago, the impact of the Men’s Sheds movement has been phenomenal.
On the media front I issued a press release about a sewage leak. Read it here.
- Sewage leak from manhole in housing estate on Castlebar;
- Runoff entering nearby Saleen Lake, which feeds into Lough Lannagh;
- Action required to remedy sewage leak and prevent water pollution.
Out on the canvass trail and we had a mix of experience and youth tonight.
We canvassed four estates in Castlebar tonight:
Here’s what came up on the canvass trail.
Countdown to #GE2020: 21 days to go!
Day 2 | Thursday 16 January | The canvass kick-off
It’s up early (6-week old Shay is a morning baby), but I love to be busy and kicking into another day with energy and enthusiasm.
New on my blog – ‘Can I vote in the General Election?’
🛑 Today (16 January) the last day to arrange a postal vote.
🛑 To make sure you are on the 2019-20 Register, go to checktheregister.ie, or contact Mayo County Council.
🛑 If you have changed address, use form RFA3 – available to download from checktheregister.ie.
🛑Forms must be received by your local authority before close of business on 22 January 2020.
From the canvass trail
I’m canvassing this evening around Castlebar, and it’s cold, but as you can see we are all in high spirits!
The main issues from the Castlebar canvas
Countdown to #GE2020: 22 days to go!
Day 1 | Wednesday 15 January | A meeting of political and community minds
With Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, calling a winter election on 14th January and setting the date for Saturday 8th February, it was time to rally the troops. As a first time candidate I rely heavily on party support, but also family, friends and members of my community.
I decided to do a public call-out on my Instagram account where many young constituents connect with me and there was a positive response to the “would you be able to spare one evening to canvass”? 18 new potential canvassers said ‘yes’!
I held a public meeting in the TF Hotel in Castlebar, in my hometown and we discussed the canvass and my key pillars. I understand that those who support me, whether related or not, must understand and align with my political views. So I outlined what my priorities are:
I have six key pillars to my campaign.
- Jobs & Economy
- Urban Regeneration
- Regional Development
- Climate Action
Earlier in the day I visited Acorns Academy, an Early Childcare facility in Castlebar to discuss the challenges the sector is facing particularly around the cost of insurance.
While I have been at doors, in sports clubs, community halls and public service buildings since being selected as a Fine Gael candidate over 600 days ago, this is my first official election race canvass photo.