VOTERS in west London will head to the polls tomorrow to select their preferred candidate in the Hobbayne Ward by-election.
London Irish woman Claire Tighe is among the names on the ballot, which will elect a new councillor for the ward following the resignation of Labour’s Lewis Cox, who held the seat until last month.
Five candidates are vying for the role, including Labour’s Ms Tighe, who will stand alongside Alan Anderson of the Green Party, Conservative David Castle, Tony Gill of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Liberal Democrat Alastair Mitten.
Ms Tighe was born in Ealing but spent much of her childhood in her parent’s hometown of Ballina, in Co. Mayo, before returning to the borough.
Ealing has one of the largest Irish diaspora populations in Britain.
Speaking ahead of election day, Ms Tighe told The Irish Post: “I’m really proud to be candidate in this local by-election.
“Ealing is where my parents, aunts and uncles came to build their lives and it gave them a place to live, love, work and call home.”
She added: “It has always known the strength diversity brings.
“If elected, I’ll do all I can to make our area an even better place to live”
Having an Irish woman on the ballot is proving exciting for the Irish community too, with Councillor Deirdre Costigan, Labour's Deputy Leader of Ealing Council, stating: "Ealing has long had a welcome on the mat for Irish immigrants.
“Whether we were born here or at home, Irish people are the backbone of the Ealing economy.”
She added: “It's great so many of us are also winning positions of political power so we can be part of the decision making.
“Claire is a great candidate and I look forward to her joining Ealing Labour as we make our Borough a better place for all our diverse communities"
Steve Pound, former MP and Shadow Northern Ireland Minister, is a local resident in Hobbayne.
Today he shared with The Irish Post his support for Ms Tighe, stating: "As an MP, I worked with Claire and saw how incredibly effective she can be.
“A victory here in Ealing will not just be a win for Claire Tighe, but for the very best of the Irish in Britain - as well as some long overdue good news for Mayo."
Ms Tighe, who is Vice Chair of the Labour Party Irish Society, moved back to Ealing after graduating from University College Dublin.
She is also on the Board of the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith and is a former Director of Irish4Europe.
The Hobbayne Ward by-election for Ealing Council takes place on Thursday, September 16.