Like many other urban centres across the country, Donegal Town faces its fair share of challenges because of the recession but Paul believes it is well positioned to survive the storm and benefit when economic growth returns to the North West.
Speaking as he embarked on the campaign trail, Paul underlined what he sees as the key issues and the main areas on which he pledges to continue working if re-elected.
“I sincerely believe in Donegal Town and its people and am firmly of the view that this town has a wealth of potential.
“While the role of Mayor is an honorary position which means it has no executive function, there is a myriad of opportunity and scope which a young and enthusiastic person can bring to the job.
“I made no apology for endorsing a vibrant “Shop Local” campaign as Mayor of Donegal Town, it stands to reason that if we support local retailers, we sustain local jobs and create the potential to even increase employment.
“In addition to the value of these jobs, we all turn to these businesses for seasonal employment for our young people and sponsorship for our clubs and community events. Not only does it make commercial sense and constitute fair play to shop local, but it also most convenient and represents great value to boot.
“At the outset in March 2009 when I became Mayor of Donegal Town, I expressed my confidence in the people of Donegal and their resourcefulness. Our Enterprise Centre at Lurganboy will be fully complete in May next, this a major vote of confidence in the town with an investment of approximately €750,000.
“This will help promote a culture and spirit of enterprise locally with suitable premises being made available to local start-up businesses and entrepreneurs at favourable rents. Job retention and creation is very much to the fore on my agenda.
“It has been my great privilege to forge even greater links with our young people through my involvement on the Youth Advisory Council and the Adult Advisory Council of the local branch of Foróige.
“ Our youth is our future and by my association with the No Name club and the St John Bosco Club as well as Foróige, I have been so impressed by the energy, ingenuity and genuine pride of our young people in Donegal Town and its hinterland.
“I always believed the office of Mayor should be open to everybody and the Mayor should be available to everybody and that has been part of my motivation for continuing my work with the youth which I find both enlightening and enriching.
“I am also acutely aware of the recreational needs of this section of society and plan to continue my work on their behalf.
“We have made great strides in the Tidy Towns Competition in the last two years and believe that success is not too far away if we continue to build on this progress which I pledge to do.
“Our town needs a public library, the Department of the Environment and Local Government has indicated that the Donegal Community Library is very likely to be included on the 2011 Library Capital Programme , I will continue to lobby for a public library until work for same commences on site.
“Donegal Town is synonymous with tourism with the industry now one of our major employers. In addition to the very high-standard of accommodation and hospitality which we offer, we also have superb beaches, bays, walks, mountains, sporting facilities, fishing and a rich history to attract visitors here.
“This is something which we do well and need to support at every opportunity such as the many festivals which our community organises as evidenced by the 25,000 people who attended last year’s “Taste of Donegal” festival.
“Finally, I have also succeeded in having a commitment made by the former Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW that a detailed structural survey of the Manor House at Donegal Castle will be carried out with a view to restoring the building,” concluded Mr Keeney.