With family being important to Eddie, the recession has taken its toll on. He is only to familiar with the trauma families have experienced with immediate family members having to emigrate. With a brother in London, a sister in France and a brother in UAE, the recession has left him with only one brother in Ireland. This inspires Eddie to generate an education, health and work environment in Waterford and the South East that will potentially see them return. Talking candidly, he wishes for his daughter to go to University in Waterford and have the choice of making a great life for her and her family in Waterford.
Working in a family construction business from an early age, Eddie joined Irish Naval Service in 1987 and was the first Naval serviceman to be awarded a Cadetship from within the ranks. He then went on to win the Fastnet Trophy for Best Cadet. Eddie spent four years training as an Executive Officer with a year spent at The Royal Britannia Naval College in Dartmouth and almost a year training as a Minewarfare & Clearance Diving Officer with the Royal Navy also. Although his primary professional qualification with the Navy is Navigation, he also was awarded a Diploma in Law at University College Cork. During his time with the Navy, Eddie was involved in many high profile fisheries, drug interdiction, search and recovery and Ordnance Disposal Operations.
Upon leaving the Navy, Eddie returned to Waterford to work within the family Contracting business and also set up Waterford Paint Sales & House of Colour. All were construction related and in 2012, Eddie became fully aware of the distresses and pressures on having to close down a family business in operation since 1966. It was hard to supply when there’s no demand! Through his family’s hairdressing business, Eddie remains up to speed on the trials and tribulations of running small businesses as Waterford recovers economically. Eddie is adamant that we must create environment for Small to medium enterprises to maintain their focus and be rewarded for being Ireland’s biggest employers. The entrepreneurial spirit and nurturing of small businesses must be protected.
In Waterford, whilst stabilisation is finally on the horizon, survival had become the new success so he is very much aware of the pressures being experienced within the SME sector. It was in March 2013, after first hand experiencing how Waterford City had come to a stage that economically and from an employment point that it was on its knees, Eddie became a founding member of Waterford Business Group (WBG). WBG has become an influential lobby voice to ensure the sustainability of inner City jobs and the reestablishment of Waterford City as the economic hub of the South East. He was elected Chairman of WBG and in that capacity became a member of the newly formed Waterford City Centre Management Group with the Council CEO as Chair. As Chairman, he presented to the Fianna Fail ‘Think In’ in Waterford in 2013. He was also Guest speaker at the Young Fine Gael National Conference in Waterford the same year. As a leader of this 150+ Business Group he, amongst others initiated, coordinated and established;
Eddie is currently the Officer Commanding the Waterford Unit Naval Service Reserve and Senior Officer Ireland. His primary input to the Department of Defence in this aspect is of a voluntary nature with four hours on average per week and one weekend per month. In his voluntary aspect of this work, he has amongst others gave evidence as an expert witness on behalf of the State at the High Court and put his skill to the test to enter the John’s River and successfully recovery and resuscitate a member of the public. He has also coordinated the safety plan afloat on the River for the past two Tall Ships Festivals and voluntary conducted Liaison Officer to numerous visiting Naval Vessels. He was also on the organising Committee for The Waterford Maritime Festivals in the 90s and would hope to re-establish this through the WBG on June Bank Holiday weekends.
Eddie is a founding member of the Steering Committee for the 1848 Tricolour Commemoration Weekend which sees the first raising of the Tricolour by Thomas Francis Meagher commemorated every March. He has worked with Senator Mark Daly in expanding this event nationally through the TFM Foundation, on which I am a member of the working group. Under this banner, he has also voluntarily taken over 50 members of the Naval Reserve to New York on two occasions to march in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and promote better tourism relations between USA & Ireland on the strength of the American Civil war and Thomas Francis Meagher’s influence in the 69th Regiment (The Fighting Irish). He has been also working with members of this Committee and the WBG Committee to deliver a new Maritime Trail for the South East, which will be based upon a National Maritime Museum based in Waterford and a trail starting and finishing here.
A part of the voluntary work in the Community that Eddie doesn’t like to talk about, is his voluntary work as Event Co-Ordinater and Safety Officer for the South East Cancer Foundation Solas Centre ‘Run for Life’ & ‘Fun for Life’ Fund Raiser which raised close to €500,000 over the past two years. I also assist in the Safety Plan for the Pieta House ‘Darkness into Light’ walk/run and assist as a Volunteer supervisor on the day.
Eddie is a member of De La Salle GAA Club and has captained County Final winning teams at U14, U16 and Minor. He was also was on a losing Colleges team in an All Ireland Final and played for Waterford at Minor and U21 levels before joining the Navy. Since leaving the Navy, I have been involved in the Club training a Feile na Gael winning team & Intermediate Football Teams that got to the County Final. Currently he is regular supporter from the sidelines and his daughter Erin plays camogie with the Club. Eddie can be seen at all Waterford GAA games with Erin.
With a strong and diverse support team, in addition to a high work rate in the City Centre, through strong relationships built in the Coastal Communities of Cheekpoint, Passage, Dunmore & Tramore Eddie from his background has an affinity to delivering for these Coastal Communities.
As a Councillor Eddie has made a 10,000 word submission on the Green paper on Defence in which he primarily focused on the consolidation of the Maritime Resources & Assets of the State. He successfully led a team that lobbied the then Minister Phil Hogan in relation to a Capital Grant to assist a City in economic turmoil facing huge rate increases under an unfair distribution of rate revaluations over three meetings.
Elected for first time to new Amalgamated Waterford City & County Council in May 2014. Eddie was one of only three Councillors to make a submission on the Corporate Plan
Eddie is Vice Chair Joint Policing Committee.
Eddie is a member of the Economic Development & Enterprise Strategic Policy Committee. He was one of only two Councillors to make a submission on the Economic & Community Plan and his currently a member of a sub Committee reviewing Waterford’s Casual Trading Bye Laws, for which he has also penned a submission.
Member Waterford Council Audit Committee and responsible for initiating a Whistleblower Policy and Procedure.
Member Comhairle na nOg Steering Committee and driving young people forward to having a say in their City’s future through work in Purple Flag & City Events.
Board Member of Garter Lane Arts Centre, whereby he is bringing a greater interaction with the City’s businesses.
Was a member Dunmore East FLAGs (Fishery Local Action Group) Economic & Tourism Working Groups in developing A Feasibility & Sustainability Study to which he made a submission which resulted in a five year action plan.
Member of Waterford City Centre Management Group, Member of Steering Committee which worked with all Stakeholders to deliver Purple Flag Accreditation for Waterford City.
Made a submission to Inland Fisheries Ireland Corporate Plan on behalf of the Cheekpoint Community which requested that consideration be given to a Heritage Fisheries & Artisan Foods Tourist Plan is added and that Cheekpoint be made a Pilot Project to test feasibility.
Have been working with Council Tourism Office, Failte Ireland and local stakeholder to establish Waterford as a Business Tourism Destination.
Have been an influential lobbyist and supporter of the Japanese Gardens Project in Tramore.
I organised and co-ordinated the recent FF 1916 Easter Commemoration in Waterford on behalf of the Party and assisted and MCed in the organisation of Waterford City & County Commemoration Ceremonies.
Eddie has been very vocal on the current Housing Crisis and has made a comprehensive submission to the Housing & Homelessness Dail Committee. Community consulted submissions are a regular part of his Political impact as a Councillor. Eddie brings an on the ground and new realistic credibility to politics in Waterford & South East. Eddie offers the people of Waterford an unrivalled commitment to working on their behalves to making our County a better place to live, work and recreate.
‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them’, Einstein.