The General Election is finally here.
I'm not going to lie, I considered whether to pull out or not. My financial, family and housing situations all require a lot of attention right now, and it would have been much easier to not run.
But then, I remembered that my financial, family and housing situations are political issues that affect most people my age, younger and older.
So I'm running.
I am running for election for people who, like me, live in long-term rental accommodation and could be evicted tomorrow at the drop of a hat. People whose homes aren't their own and who spend up to half and two-thirds of their incomes on rent and essential bills. People who know they are just a few paychecks away from being homeless, and the 10,000+ who are already in that obscene state, their human right to a home trampled and ignored.
I'm running for the parents, the grandparents, siblings and friends looking after children well past the time when they should have been in affordable, if not free, childcare. For the parents of children with autism spectrum disorder and other disabilities who need to be able to take time for themselves and know their children are safe. For the children themselves with next to no supports or facilities to grow up safe into healthy and happy adults.
I'm running for the pensioner who spends 24 hours in a chair or a trolly in hospital. For the junior doctors and nurses who are working unbearable hours for barely a living wage and who are trying not to just hop on the next flight to Australia. For the patient with a chronic disease who has been told to wait years for their next scan or check.
The Social Democrats have the ideas and the proven record of presenting constructive solutions to these issues. I have the optimism and passion to help make those solutions a reality and make Dublin West, and all of Ireland the country we know it can be.
I will need a lot of help though. If you've read this far you're probably on board with much of what I've said above.
If you can spare a few euro to level the playing field with the big names in Dublin West I would be really grateful, and it will help me raise the issues that matter.
- Niamh Moylan
- Ben Walsh