They say that politics is always local. Seán Ó Neachtain first entered politics because of the lack of a public water system in his local area of Spiddal. His first years as a community activist on the local committee and as the secretary of the local chapter of Fianna Fáil was where he learned about campaigning for community issues. From there, he was invited to stand in the local elections for the Galway County Council in 1979 and a few short months later he was asked to stand in the first election for Údarás na Gaeltachta. That started a period that would last 30 years in which he served as an elected representative in public life. He stood in nine elections, three county council, four Údarás na Gaeltachta and in the elections for the European Parliament.