5th September 2016
A little over a year ago, I was very proud to be a part of the formation of a new political party, the Social Democrats. The party was established in response to the growing imbalance within our society between the very wealthy and the majority of Irish people, who, despite working hard, just felt they were only scraping by. It was established in response to a need to ensure transparent governance; to provide a strong economy that can underpin our society and communities.
I am disappointed that Stephen Donnelly left our party today. I have worked closely with Stephen since he started on his political journey five years ago, and indeed, it was Stephen that encouraged me to join politics and to run as a Councillor. Although we will remain good friends, I will miss working closely alongside him and I wish him well for the future.
I am, however, remaining with the Social Democrats, a party that I helped to start with Stephen, Roisin and Catherine. I still believe in the principles and values upon which the party was based and I believe that Ireland still needs a strong social democratic voice in our politics. In fact, I believe it is needed now more than ever with the increasing divergence between the very wealthy and everyone else.
Building a new party is a long-term project, and while Stephen’s departure is unfortunate in the short term, I believe there is still a great opportunity, and a need, for a pro-business, socially conscious movement like the Social Democrats. With official party status and funding, we are focusing on continuing to build our party and our movement nationwide. Our first National Conference will be held in the autumn and branches are being established all over the country.
Locally, I am working hard to ensure that our communities have the facilities they need, such as schools, infrastructure, jobs initiatives, youth centres and inclusive playgrounds. Within the Council, I am working to make our decision-making processes more transparent and robust. I look forward to continue my work with the local community to ensure that their needs are being met and their voices are being heard.