Originally from Kells, Corofin, I have been based in Ennis for some years. As a young lad I was very active in the Corofin Youth Club and Hall Committee. In my early working life, I was very active in trade unions, becoming Shop Steward and later President of Clare Trade Union. I also became chair of the Trades Council.
I stood for local elections a number of times with the themes of social inclusion and efforts to represent those on the margins. I failed to get elected despite running very close.
In 1992, together with other people with disabilities, I set up a Disabled People of Clare, with the human rights approach – “Nothing about us without us”. We became active in change locally and nationally. This led to the setting up in recent years of the Clare Leader Forum, in which I am very active.
Also during the late 1990s, I was very active in the Ennis CDP, up to its closing in 2016. This group worked with Travellers and with those who came to Ireland seeking asylum. I am also so very involved in my local residents’ association.
Nationally, I am on the board of the Independent Living Movement Network. I was nominated to a disability committee under the Disability Act 2005. I was elected to Clare LCDC and to the SPC on Social Policy, roles from which I had to step down when I stood in last year’s local elections. I will endeavour to maintain communication with relevant Clare PPN groups to represent you to the best of my ability.