Sinn Fein have selected a second candidate to run for them in the Local Election which will take place in May 2024.
Maria McCormack, of Fieldbrook, in Portlaoise, will contest for a seat alongside existing Councillor Caroline Dwane-Stanley.
Maria has been active in the party for the last three years but is a long standing member.
Her connections to the party are strong as her great-grandfather Jim Lewis, was one of the first Sinn Féin Councillors elected in Laois
Maria said: “I live in Fieldbrook and am employed locally in the health care industry.
“As a parent with a young family, I am keenly aware of the many challenges facing families, dealing with the cost of living crisis, housing and access to services.
“Healthcare is my passion and during the period that I worked as a pharmacy technician, I saw at first hand the difficulties caused by the lack of basic services.
“I have a daughter on the autism spectrum and as a member of Laois/Offaly Families for Autism (LOFA) I am a keen advocate to have services improved.
“Primary care services, including mental health services in the community, need to be given a greater priority and being a member of Family Carers Ireland, I am determined to work on this.
“From a young age I have been active in the local community, from been chairperson of Ballyroan Foróige to Laois Civil Defence and enjoyed preforming with Portlaoise gosple choir and Portlaoise musical society.
“Over the years, I have done a considerable amount of voluntary work in our community and this is where I have developed a love for helping people.
“I have always been a strong advocate for the marginalized or vulnerable people in our community to ensure inclusion and equality for everyone.
“Politics and human rights are my passion, in particular local government.
“My family have had a longstanding connection with republicanism as my great grandfather Jim Lewis from Morette was one of the first Sinn Féin Councillors elected in Laois. I am unbelievably proud to carry on this tradition.
“I want to be part of a hard working team of Sinn Féin councillors in Laois and play my part to improve local services, housing and infrastructure.
“These are some of the basic cornerstones that I feel strongly about as a candidate.”