Why I got involved in politics
Since moving to Kildare, my family and I have faced the same challenges as most young families in the area; limited playgrounds and childcare places, a lack of schools, difficult commutes, bad public transport, and a lack of basic infrastructure which we need to make our area a better place to live.
In the past decade, our towns and villages in the area have grown as Dublin has expanded to the West. But this growth has come without any infrastructural improvements and in many cases, we still have the same roads, bridges, schools, and resources that we had 50 years ago.
I firmly believe that there are simple solutions to many of our problems, we just need political commitment to make them happen. We need more schools built, more creches and childcare options for families, new roads, and smarter use of the infrastructure we do have. We need to make sure Clane is no longer treated as a ‘small town’ and modernise the way we see our lives in towns and villages. We need to think outside the box and come up with solutions that work for the people of Clane, Prosperous and surrounding areas. Not just the same rehashed plans that may have worked somewhere else.
I look forward to meeting you and engaging with you at the doors and in our communities over the next few years along with our local Labour team, my wife Aimee, our daughter, and our dog Harry. I am always available to answer any question or support your initiatives, so please get in touch.
We need to make Clane a livable town. We’ve had enough of HGVs blocking streets, and bad public transport. We need a bypass and better bus connections which link us with other transport modes to get around Ireland quickly and efficiently. We need to reimagine our Main Street to make it a clean livable space, not just a through road between motorways. You can find more information on my proposal for transport in Clane here.
I believe in universal public childcare, and a well-funded free education system. For us in the Clane local area, that means we must hold developers to account to ensure they follow through with creches. Just as importantly, early years workers are some of the most valuable educators in our society, and they need to be paid appropriately. We need to ensure there is enough school places in our area for children of all ages, and it needs to be accessible. That means free school transport and providing every child with an equal start. You can read more about my plan for education in the Clane electoral area here.
Ireland is in the midst of a housing crisis, and Clane is no different. Like many commuter towns, Clane, Prosperous, and all of Kildare North has been stretched to the brink, and normal working people are suffering. Kildare County Council has the responsibility to ensure that everyone in Kildare has access to a home. That access should not be through private developers who rent out homes at extortionate ‘market rates’. Home ownership must still be possible for everyone. We need to build affordable houses and increase the amount of cost rental and affordable houses in the area. We need to enact the Renters Rights Bill, and make sure there is a home for families and women experiencing abuse in the home as a priority. You can read more about my plan for housing here.
Climate change is a global problem, but we need local solutions. We need to ensure that any changes we make to protect the planet also protect workers, that is why I will lead a policy of a local, just transition to ensure that climate change works for everyone, as well as our planet. We need to enact the €9 climate ticket, but for it to work we need decent public transport in our area. Active travel has the potential to reduce car use over short distances. While it is not the solution for travel across longer distances, it has great potential to replace short journeys and bring tourists to the area through cycling greenways. We need to retrofit homes. Kildare County Council needs to incentivise solar panels and better insulation to reduce emissions and cut peoples energy costs. You can read more about my plan for a Just Transition for our area here.
Just like many Irish people, over the past number of years I have worked hard both in Ireland and abroad to build my family and life in Kildare. But like many it has not been an easy ride with record high rent, a lack of houses, and a lack of good jobs at home.
During this time, I have worked to represent working people in Ireland, Europe and across the world as a trade union representative, focusing on improving working conditions for all. I plan to bring the skills and techniques I have learned to represent the working people of Clane, Prosperous and the surrounding areas and deliver for families in this community.