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Alan O’Connor

Candidate for Cobh

My vision for Cork

Accommodating the forecast growth in Cork’s population will decide the county’s character for generations. Paraphrasing the biologist Aldo Leopold, our landscape is a portrait of ourselves. Truly sustainable action can make Cork a model for Ireland and the world; a place to live and work where everywhere is somewhere worth caring for.

What I stand for

I stand for taking action to the highest level – what’s good for many rather than the few, and in the long-term rather than the short-term. I stand for ecological thinking in the acknowledgement that our world is interconnected. I recognise that we are facing an environmental crisis, and that all levels of government need to act accordingly.

My priorities

    • The environment. I would work to create spaces for people and wildlife, whilst trying to combat problems such as fly-tipping and light pollution.
    • Transport. Prioritising public and active transport. We can’t build livable and sociable communities if we prioritise cars on our streets and roads – you might as well try to bake bread using cement. Implementing the Cork Cycle Network Plan ASAP would be a good start.
    • Planning. Sustainable development means urban areas are designed for people rather than cars. It means green spaces, affordable houses, and anĀ end to sprawl. It means a sensitivity towards nature, which can coexist with and inform development.

My experience

I hold a BSc in Environmental Science (Zoology) from University College Cork in 2006, and an MSc in Palaeobiology from University of Bristol in 2007. I worked in the Natural History Division of the National Museum of Ireland between 2009 and 2017, and I am currently studying with Hibernia College to be a primary school teacher. My experiences and interests to date have given me an appreciation of the ecological/interconnected and fragile nature of the world, and sensitivity towards the significance of the past, the needs of the present, and consequences for the future.