I am a Local Area Representative for Cabra/Finglas and have lived in Cabra all my life. As the Area Representative, I am representing the Labour Party for Cabra, Finglas, the Navan Road and Phibsboro working with Cllr Brendan Carr and Joe Costello.
I have a rare eye condition called RP which limits what I can see. I am also dyslexic, so have difficulty with spelling. Navigating the city when you can’t see well has a lot of challenges. There are very simplethings that the city can do things to make it easier, including limiting street furniture, making sure there are ramps and tactile paving and traffic lights that beep.
The first piece of activism I ever got involved in was when Dublin City Council turned off the audible traffic lights. The blind community in Dublin mobilised and we got the decision reversed. It was a proud moment for me and showed what can be achieved when people work together.
Having spent a number of years at university where lots of young people were cynical about politics, I decided to get involved. I believe strongly in equality, solidarity and social justice and since joining Labour Youth I have campaigned for greater access to education, disability services and local community rights.
I know some people think local government is boring, about cutting back trees and fixing potholes. Well as someone who is tall and can’t see that well, cutting tree branches is very important! People with disabilities depend on good quality local government to be able to navigate cities independently.
When we do local government right everyone benefits. I believe in universal design and high quality services for everyone, locally and nationally and that is what I want to work towards.
After Brexit and Trump I am more and more committed to a strong internationalist approach to work together to solve issues. As such I was made Youth Plan Ambassador for Ireland for the Party of European Socialists. This is a pan European campaign for a EU response to youth unemployment, www.youthplan.ue.
Someone who has inspired me greatly and who has reached the highest office in this country is Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland. He has often spoken about the importance of community and citizenship and for me, being involved with the Labour Party is my way of making sure I am doing my bit to get people involved and provide representation. Michael D Higgins said something that always stayed with me, “the left is about ideas”. It is the only political movement where we are always open to new ideas and to change for the improvement of Community.
Whatever you do, whoever you vote for it is crucial that you take part. Decisions are being made, and they will either be made with our without you, so make your voice heard.
Please feel free to contact me and tell me what issues matter to you and I’ll help you have your voice heard.