My vision for Fingal
Dublin Fingal needs to develop in a well-planned manner to ensure that our housing, transport, education, childcare and leisure infrastructure are well integrated and designed to nurture community and family life. Our growing and diverse local population means that Fingal is a vibrant and dynamic area and the focus now must be on ensuring that the services exist to allow Fingal to thrive in a sustainable way.
COVID-19 has drastically changed our world in the last year. The power of community has never been more evident and right across Dublin Fingal, and Ireland, people looked after each other and rallied to support our more vulnerable neighbours and friends. I want to thank those who have worked tirelessly on the front line, as essential workers, throughout this crisis and the community volunteers who look after the most vulnerable in society. As we continue to live with COVID-19, I would encourage all to maintain this community spirit and continue to support our communities and the local businesses across Fingal.
What I stand for
Through my personal and professional experience before entering politics, I have gained a deep insight into the hardships of those struggling to find their place in society. I am passionate about human rights and equality.
I believe that our vulnerable economy needs to be strengthened in a way which recognises the correlation between a healthy society AND economy. There must be a focus on supporting indigenous business and innovation to create higher quality sustainable jobs. I strongly believe that the economic adaptations required to actively tackle climate change offer opportunities to move the economy away from over dependence on fossil fuel imports, multinationals and the tax we allow them to forgo. We can and must harness the many economic and social opportunities that protecting our environmental future offers all of us across the island of Ireland.
- My professional background centres on human rights and equality with a key focus on advocacy. I work hard for the people of my own constituency of Dublin Fingal and all people who may find it difficult to have their voices heard in the system and/or who encounter difficulty in accessing relevant services.
- Infrastructural deficits are a key issue for Dublin Fingal – lack of school places, inadequate public transport, insufficient cycle lanes, shortages in garda numbers, all prove the need to ensure that investment in public services must maintain pace with the population growth and associated needs of Dublin Fingal.
- I will continue to prioritise the housing and homelessness crisis by working collaboratively with stakeholders and listening carefully to the needs of those most impacted by the crisis and using my experience in the NGO sector and my advocacy skills to ensure all voices are heard.
Currently Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development with special responsibility for Community Development and Charities since July 2020, I previously held a seat on Fingal County Council before being elected as a TD to represent Dublin Fingal in 2009. I was subsequently re-elected to that position in February 2020 before being appointed to my current role.
Graduate of University College Cork (French and Economics).
Before entering politics, I worked for the Youth reach programme for early school leavers, and worked for more than a decade at Crosscare, the social-care agency of the Dublin Catholic archdiocese and one of the biggest providers of services to the homeless in Dublin city.
For three years before entering the Dáil I worked for the Immigrant Council of Ireland.
Living in Skerries, I am married with three young children.