I first became involved in local politics with the Save Our Services campaign to retain cancer Services in Sligo General hospital over 12 years ago. I was angered by how Sligo was being ignored and felt I had to get politically involved. Since then I have worked on numerous community and national campaigns intended to enhance Sligo and fight to make Ireland a fairer and more equal society.
While I have been proud to work and achieve progress, a focused and community based approach to further enhance our county is needed. Having been approached by a number of people to contest, and with further encouragement from friends and family, I announced my intention to seek election.
A graduate of Social Care from IT Sligo, my experience working with community groups is a motivation for my candidacy. I have been part of committed communities who have worked together tirelessly to affect change in Sligo. My aspiration is to continue working hard with my community and be a strong voice on the numerous issues that continue to affect the day to day lives of Sligo citizens.
I was actively involved in the Yes Equality Referendum, Together For Yes referendum, Right2Water and Save Sligo Library campaigns. I have been a volunteer with mental health, housing and homeless charities aiming to directly help with these issues while also advocating against the root causes and for a reversal of the crises we currently see.
I am trade unionist and was proud to stand with workers over the years on strikes for better working conditions including most recently standing with our nurses and midwives.
In 2016, I felt Sligo could better utilise social media to be promoted and increase tourism by highlighting the beauty we have on offer here. On a voluntary basis I set up the social media pages ‘Best Of Sligo’ and to date have promoted Sligo to over 10 million people around the world.
The same issues have been persistent over the last number of years and have gone largely unchallenged. The lack of investment in housing, broadband, roads, and rural infrastructure continue to be the dominant issues affecting the people of Sligo. In order to further enhance our county, it is vital those selected to be public representatives be unrelenting in their willingness to fight to address these issues. I have learned enormously from my involvement in campaigns such as Save Sligo Libraries, Right2Water and Yes Equality the need to go beyond words and the necessity of community action in order to achieve change.
While there certainly are issues, a strength and positivity can be drawn from progress that has been fought for and won. It is my goal to be a strong voice for positive progress on the issues affecting the people of Sligo.