My name is Liam van der Spek and I am the Labour Party Local Area Representative for Cavan Town.
I grew up in Cavan and attended both Ballinagh Primary School and St. Patrick’s College. My parents are lifelong public sector workers: my father as a paediatrician in Cavan General Hospital; and my mother, a qualified nurse, as a special needs assistant in Cavan No.1 National School. I am currently studying Computer Science at UCD. In my spare time I love to make and play music, as well as collect and repair vintage computers and other odd bits of tech.
Music and art are a big part of my life. I have great appreciation for the art and music scene in Cavan town. The hosting of the Fleadh Cheoil for 3 consecutive years and the success of local musicians like Lisa O’Neill and The Strypes are evidence of the talent and energy alive in the community. Having performed locally with my own band The Innuendos, and as part of the Cavan Big Band brass ensemble, it really is a great place to get involved in music.
Politics has interested me since I was a teenager. I am passionate about changing this country for the better. I want to contribute to making Ireland a more modern, just, and equal society. I joined the Labour Party in university, and am involved my local branch and Labour Youth.
Working part-time for nearly two years as a hotel waiter on minimum wage gave me enormous respect for people in low income jobs, and an insight into the difficulties of surviving on minimum wage. I believe work should be compensated with a living wage, so that anyone who works can afford a decent standard of living, dignity in their work, as well as meaningful time to enjoy life.
The last decade has not been easy on many individuals or families, especially in more rural locations like Cavan. But now that national economic circumstances are improving, we must ensure that the Ireland we build from this point on is one where everyone is included and valued.
Areas of particular interest to me include:
- Education - There is no more crucial a task for any country than providing people with a quality education. I believe we should remove as many barriers to education as possible and give every child access to a full range of opportunities.
- Affordable Housing - Everyone should have decent living standards at a reasonable price. I want to see a Government and a County Council that makes this a reality.
- Broadband Infrastructure - Over the last number of years rural areas have been left behind in terms of modern broadband infrastructure. The current programme needs to be accelerated to ensure that speeds meet the demands of 21st century life for those living outside of cities.
- Arts and Music - The creative talents of our local population should be valued and celebrated. Musicians, film-makers, painters, photographers, and actors produce works Cavan can be proud of on a national level. I want to see councils continue to engage with and promote creative individuals and their projects.
- Public Transport - Local public transport options have lacked around Cavan for some time. Local-Link bus services are a great recent introduction. I want to support services like this, and expand their coverage.
- Environmental Initiatives - Our natural landscapes are a major asset to local communities and to our local tourist industry. However more needs to be done to preserve our towns and their surrounding areas. For example, I would like to see Cavan Town retake the top spot of the IBAL Anti-Litter League as it held in 2012.
Get in contact:
I am eager to work with you, and address concerns affecting our local community. Please feel free to contact me with any issue or suggestion you may have.