After almost 10 years in Ireland, I’ve finally found a political party I can identify with. When I moved over in 2008 I explored the different options and whereas Labour felt like the best match, they just didn’t really do it for me.
I’ve always had an interest in politics and I think using your voice (and vote!) is important. I first noticed the Social Democrats in the run up to #GE16 when Gary Gannon’s election video surfaced. Here is someone I can identify with, not another boring politician in a boring suit, but someone who’s walking the talk. SD also had repeal in their election manifesto, so I went along to a public meeting with Catherine Murphy TD in Ashbourne in June 2016 and signed up there and then.
The Social Democrats are founded on the core principles of Progress, Equality, Democracy and Sustainability.
Since June, things have moved quite rapidly and I’ve become fully enshrined in the purple party. I was nominated to the National Council, repping for East Meath together with John King from our branch who’s an old hand at social democracy. John has a wealth of political experience and is quite knowledgeable on sustainability, abortions rights and is currently on the team working our Northern Ireland policy. I hope to learn much from John over the next couple of years.
Earlier in 2017 Paul Nolan and myself got appointed in the Meath East constituency as Local Area Representatives for Ashbourne and Stamullen respectively. It’s a strange reality in which I now have an official political page and letterheads with my face on it. It’s strange but very exciting at the same time, and I hope to be a positive voice in Stamullen for firmly putting the village on the cards in the Ashbourne Municipal District. I had my first ever canvas over the May bank holiday, scary but fun, and plan to be knocking many more doors over the next couple of years, listening to people in the community and trying to see how can I help bring progress, equality and sustainability to a local level.
I fear I’m suffering from a serious dose of Imposter Syndrome as I’m surrounded by so many clever people who want to bring change to Ireland, but step by step I’ll try to navigate my way through this new world of politics… I’ve never really done things the way everyone else does them, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t but I’d like to think doing differently in politics might be a good thing!?