Why I got involved in politics

I grew up in flats in Dublin South Central in a single parent household. I witnessed many social injustices around me like addiction, homelessness and the struggle that many working class families experience daily, especially single parent families. My upbringing has shaped my

values, and my belief that our politics should include and serve those on the margins. As an early school leaver, I developed a passion for more inclusive education. I have worked tirelessly on the coal face of issues such as education, equality, and homelessness. I continue to be angered at how injustice continues to impact the lives of people in working class communities in a country that is supposedly as wealthy as it is. Ireland, in the 21st century, can provide a home to everyone, ensure that child poverty is eliminated, provide people with the care they need, that workers have decent pay, and that communities feel safe.

That is why I am putting myself forward as a local area representative, and particularly for the Labour Party, the party that has championed decades worth of progress for families and workers. I want to be part of building an Ireland that works for all.

My priorities

Housing: I will push the council to build more social and affordable homes through new builds and increase its housing stock. The council should re-acquire former council properties being put up for sale on the market. The council must ensure that when a property becomes vacant, there is a rapid turn around rather than being left vacant for months on end. I will push the council on the Labre Park redevelopment and to spend all funds allocated for Traveller accommodation as the conditions that children and families are enduring there are unacceptable.

Care: I work with families struggling to get the support for their children with autism and other learning difficulties, as well as affordable childcare. It is unacceptable that parents are having to go private, on long waiting lists, and fund the cost of assessments themselves. Labour is campaigning rigorously to end this disgrace. Labour is pushing the government to tackle waiting lists for occupational therapy and speech and language therapy. Early intervention is key to ensuring that children thrive. A public childcare system with decent wages for childcare workers is crucial.

Public services under public ownership: Private companies are charging more for waste collection at a time when workers are struggling with bills. The council should run waste services which in turn will encourage greater recycling and lower household bills.

Safe and inclusive communities: I will push to ensure that the Cherry Orchard Implementation Board has resident’s voices front and centre. There must be a well-funded, multi-annual strategy to transform the lives of the people of Cherry Orchard and that will address intergenerational poverty. I will work for more community policing to ensure that all people, especially older people, feel safe in their community. I will work with stakeholders to ensure that all people are welcome in our communities regardless of where they come from, their race, or their sexuality. Our communities must be accessible for all, especially those with physical disabilities who have every right to enjoy local amenities such as parks.

Climate: I will support Labour's push for a €9 a month climate ticket for public transport. Push the council to improve the quality of our roads, especially the cycle lanes in Ballyfermot and Drimnagh which can be extremely dangerous to cycle on due to potholes and poor maintenance. Labour introduced the Dublin Bikes to the city, and I want to see them expanded to the area, as the city centre is quickly accessed by bike. Ensure that the role out of Bus Connects in Drimnagh is successful and does not have teething issues that the G1 & G2 have had in no-show buses.

Workers rights: Ireland needs a pay rise. A pay rise is needed for all workers, especially low and middle income earners struggling to weather the cost-of-living crisis. As a youth worker, I also see that vital services in the community are struggling to attract and retain staff which is having a knock on impact on young people and families.

My background

I am currently a Youth Justice Worker based in Ballyfermot. Before that, I worked for two years in the School Completion Programme in two of the local secondary schools in Ballyfermot;

Worked for Merchant's Quay Ireland on the coal face of homelessness and addiction during the pandemic;

Former Equality Coordinator for the European Students Union;

Former Co-Chair and Executive Board Member of the International LGBTQ Youth and Student Organisation; Former Advisor to the Vice-President for Equality and Citizenship, Union of Students’ in Ireland.

I have campaigned for years on equality and human rights issues. Most notably, on LGBTQ rights, by campaigning for anti-bullying policies with youth organisation BeLonG To, for marriage equality, and pushing for equality across Europe. I also canvassed during the repeal of the 8th referendum.

I was a UCD Access Ambassador, promoting university to underrepresented groups, especially early school leavers.

I have a BA in politics, international relations and history from University College Dublin, and a Postgraduate Diploma in social policy and practice from Trinity College Dublin.