Marian Harkin is no novice when it comes to backing rural Ireland. The feisty 66 year-old Sligo woman has represented Ireland North West Midlands for 15 years in the EU parliament and was recently elected as an Independent TD to Dáil Éireann for the Sligo Leitrim constituency.

Right from the start of her work in community development Marian was taunted about wanting a hospital at every crossroads and a Luas from Ballina to Sligo.