Labour Blog

Introducing Nessa Childers MEP Ireland East (Leinster)

Posted on August 31, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Nessa Childers MEP - Nessa Childers MEP (Ireland East) and the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD.
Nessa Childers MEP (Ireland East) and the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD.

The election of Nessa Childers, Labour's new MEP for the Ireland East (formerly Leinster) constituency was one of the stories of the 2009 European and Local elections.

Running an assiduous, grassroots election campaign from the Cooley Mountains in Louth to Rosslare in Wexford (and everywhere in between) Nessa secured almost 80,000 first preference votes to win Labour's first seat in the area for a quarter of a century.

Bringing with her an enormous commitment to public service and social justice which has become synonymous with the Childers family down the generations, Nessa says she is "hugely privileged to have received such a substantial mandate to represent the people of Ireland East in the European Parliament."

Before entering electoral politics, having been elected to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in 2004 as a member of the Green Party, she ran her own psychotherapy practice since graduation from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in 1986. She combined her practice with managing the MSc programme in TCD from 2001-2006.

Nessa explains how she had developed "a strong affinity with the Labour Party and a commitment to its enduring values" from her late teenage years. Deciding to formally join the Party in 1999, she then, in her own words "took a sabbatical from the Labour Party".

Nessa catching up on the Kilkenny Advertiser

Her experience as a local representative and her track record in the environmental movement will, she remarked, "prove to be invaluable as a member of the European Parliament" where she is relishing the prospect of working on the Environment, Public Health & Food Safety Committee.

She said, "My work as a local public representative has, I believe, been excellent preparation for the task ahead in the European Parliament. I will be working intensely on the critical issues we face such as climate change and job creation and economic development always mindful of the needs and requirements of the people who have entrusted their support to me."

It was in September of last year that the Labour Party asked her to run for the European Parliament in Ireland East. She explained, "We had an excellent team and the practical support from Labour's Oireachtas members, Councillors, candidates and members was simply incalculable. We hit the ground running early on and really reached out to the wider community - to the community and voluntary sector, trade unions and organisations representing local business. We listened, and now we're going to act on their concerns."

The primary aim for Nessa in the coming weeks is "to convince the people of Ireland East that Ireland's economic, social, environmental and security interests are best served by passing the Lisbon Treaty."

Nessa with Dep Brendan Howlin and Cllr George Lawlor

"I want to bring a positive message about the Treaty to the Irish people. Passing the Treaty will represent a critical step in Ireland's recovery. Passing Lisbon will make Europe work much more effectively both in terms of Ireland's interests and in making Europe work better for its citizens on a rapidly evolving world stage.

She warned, "It would be wrong for us to use this opportunity to take our woes out on the current government. They can wait - but Lisbon can't.

"The day when voters will get the chance to remove this appalling administration from power looks to be getting ever closer. Post-Lisbon, we need to draw together every ounce of energy we have at our disposal to replace them.

"A fresh start and a new government with Labour and our enduring values at its heart is absolutely central to Ireland's recovery. But first, we start with Lisbon," she concluded.

You can read Nessa's blog on the Labour website, as well as checking out her pictures on Flickr; she is also on Facebook.

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