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Alan O’Connor

Candidate for Cobh
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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.