2014 was an eventful year in Ireland. Political and social scandals coupled with unpopular decisions, lack of consultation, local and European elections, 2 Dail by-elections and much more.
I started the year with one goal in mind, to stand in the local elections for Lucan and Palmerstown. My life was consumed with the election from January till late May, and even now.
I wasn’t successful in gaining election, I was disappointed, proud, determined and curious about why things finished how they did and what might lay ahead. I wouldn’t have entered the election if I didn’t really want to take a seat, but I also accept the democratic process and because of that, it is wrong to be disappointed for too long, you gave the electorate an offer and they decided.
Of the Six electoral areas in South Dublin County, Lucan & Palmerstown had the largest field with 20 candidates for 8 seats. I exited after the 11th round and finished in 12th place. A breakdown of results is available here. Contesting an election is exhausting and stimulating in equal measure.
Here’s some of the voluntary community work I currently do:
- I represent the Palmerstown Neighbourhood Watch on the Public Participation Network (PPN) and I was elected to sit on the Secretariat of the PPN in South Dublin County.
- Public Relations Officer (PRO) with Palmerstown Community Council.
- Sit on the Riversdale House Dublin Simon Community Monitoring committee.
- Secretary of Palmerstown Meitheal (Tidy Towns).
- Palmerstown Community Allotment.
A couple of projects I am progressing or supporting for 2015 include:
- Helping hands – A community of assistance for the elderly and others in need of odd jobs
- Community First Responder programme
- Pride of Palmerstown Awards
- Lobby for a Public Swimming pool for Lucan
- Campaign for appropriate planning and development in Palmerstown Village
- Expansion of Youth Work in Palmerstown
- Palmerstown Neighbourhood Watch network to facilitate the transfer of information within a small community policed by 2 separate stations and districts.
As I knew before the election, my work wouldn’t stop if I didn’t get elected. Somehow, I feel I’m doing similar work now as if I had been elected and I’m constantly reminded of a quote by George Bernard Shaw “This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose identified by yourself as a mighty one”.
What 2015 holds, who knows; we are often the masters of our own destiny, so I fully expect to take chances as I did with the Local Elections and hopefully, each of those chances will bring rewards for the Community’s I belong to.
I am aware that 2015 won’t have a happy beginning for many families who’ve lost loved ones and friends, for our neighbours who struggle with finances and other challenges in which they are not the masters of their own destiny. As a Community, it is our role to support those around us to get the most from the year ahead, spare a thought and lend a hand to those who might need it. More empathy coupled with action will make 2015 a better year for all of us.