I am a native of Macroom, County Cork, and I live there with my wife Sinead and our three children Ruth, Odhran and Darragh.
Politics is in my blood. I grew up with a strong sense of justice and civic awareness because my late father Donal Creed was a member of Dáil Éireann for all my childhood. Politics was all around me, but I first got involved myself when I was co-opted to Cork County Council in 1987. Two years later, in 1989, I ran for the Dáil for the first time and won a seat to represent Cork North West in Leinster House. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since. It’s an honour to represent this constituency and I take that responsibility very seriously.
N22 Macroom-Baile Bhúirne Bypass
I was appointed Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine in June 2016. I had a list of priorities for my time in Cabinet, but there was one big priority at the top of that list. Macroom had been choked for decades by traffic in both directions on the busy N22 linking Cork City and Kerry. To ensure the future economic development of the Cork/Kerry region, as well as the future development of Macroom itself, a bypass was absolutely vital.
It was one of the highlights of my career in politics when the Cabinet approved the signing of the contract for the N22 Macroom-Baile Bhúirne Bypass in October 2019. Construction work has been ongoing since 2020, in spite of the pandemic and other challenges. When the eastern section of the Bypass opened on December 9th 2022, it was be the result of many years of hard work by politicians of all parties and by executives at Cork County Council and the National Roads Authority. I’m really glad I was able to play a part in making it happen. I look forward to seeing the benefits this bypass will certainly bring to Macroom and to the whole region.
Farming and Food Production
I grew up on a farm and I’ve always been interested in agriculture and the strong connection Irish people feel to the land. My job as a TD has always been to listen to farmers and make their voices heard at government level.
During my time as Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine I prioritised a science-based approach to further enhance the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of the agri-food sector. Farmers and agri-businesses here in Cork North West and all over the country are constantly evolving to meet the challenges they face, and they deserve huge credit for that. This is an incredibly resilient and innovative sector. I will continue to do everything I can to support it.
Climate change is the existential challenge of our generation. We must protect our planet. I believe we are duty bound to hand over guardianship and stewardship of our planet to future generations in a much better state than we inherited it. We are a small country but we have a big role to play in meeting this challenge at home and on the world stage.
With that in mind, I support the measures in place to help Ireland reduce fossil fuel usage significantly by 2030 and aim for full carbon neutrality in 2050. Reducing waste is key, specifically single use plastics, and increasing our recycling. Protecting our marine resources is another big priority of mine, and improving air quality. We need to achieve consensus, across society and politics, on how to achieve environmental targets so that future governments will not undo progress made.
I get dozens of emails from constituents every week and many of these emails are about housing – people in urgent need of a home, people who have problems with rented accommodation, people who have been on the social housing list for several years.
I know the shortage of housing is a good sign of our economy. Emigration levels are low because there are jobs in Ireland. But that’s no comfort to people who don’t have a place to call home. I’m committed to helping everyone to find a solution to their housing problem – I help them to understand how the system works so they have the best possible chance of achieving that goal.
I’m proud that Fine Gael in government established Ireland’s first-ever Department of Rural and Community Development. This shows how much we value and support rural communities and see their potential for growth.
When I talk about growth, I mean in every way – thriving businesses, expanding I believe that our rural communities deserve special measures to enrich the lives of people living in the countryside – the heartland of Ireland for generations. Thriving sports clubs, community and voluntary groups make all the difference to our quality of life.
Growing up as the only son in a family of six, I have always believed that women and men deserve equal opportunities and support. In my lifetime, I’ve seen Ireland become a more inclusive place. Minority groups in our society have now moved centre stage and claimed their right to be treated as equals. This change benefits all of us.