Wednesday, May 14, 2014


I have been a consistent voice for communities and real change. I will explore every avenue to help improve the quality of life for communities. I will never say "there's nothing we can do" because there is always something we can do. The one thing we should never do is give up!

I have been a Community Activist for 13-years and in that I have had numerous successes in helping individuals and communities assert their rights.

The establishment of the Limerick Regeneration Agencies in 2007 saw a dramatic degeneration of the areas under their remit; things had gotten worse not better. The Agencies had a legal obligation to " secure - improvements in the physical environment..." and were empowered by law to spend money on things "...which appear to it to be requisite, advantageous or incidental to, or which appears to it to facilitate the performance of its functions.."

I had been calling since 2008 for the Regeneration Agency to sponsor a clean-up of the areas but was being ignored; the Public Health Inspector’s reports were also being ignored. They had the power but they wouldn't use it and our public representatives were of no help. They wouldn't listen at home so I took it to Europe to the EU Petitions Commission

On 16 April 2009 I addressed the EU Committee on Petitions at Parliament Buildings in Brussels. Photographs I had taken in March that year showing the degeneration of the four areas were beamed onto a 10-foot screen as I spoke:

 Ballinacurra Weston 2009: illegal dumping and ‘fly-tipping’ was rife and nothing was been done.
My petition exposed the failure of our Council to address environmental issues in “regeneration” areas. The Irish authorities were found in breach of EU Community Law and warned that they would be fined if they failed to comply. I returned home to the news that the Regeneration Agency would sponsor a €500,000 clean-up of the areas.

Here's a video of me addressing the EU Committee on Petitions at Parliament Buildings in Brussels on 16 April 2009:

In the intervening years I have continued to highlight the failure of "regeneration" to tackle the problems of the areas it was supposed to save. I have helped individuals and other communities to lobby and campaign. Whether writing to politicians, complaints to the ombudsman, postcard campaigns to the relevant authority, engaging the media or finding a platform to highlight the issues, there is always something that can be done.

Most recently I availed of an opportunity to address the Limerick Spring Assembly, a City of Culture event held in the Crescent Hall on 12 April 2014. ‘Speaker of the House’ was TV3’s Vincent Browne and my motion that our Council should adopt a human rights based approach to community participation was passed unanimously. I informed the Assembly that this proposal had received written support from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty & Human Rights, Magdalena SepĂșlveda Carmona. (learn more about the UN Support >>>)

Yes, there is always something that can be done. I would be happy to assist you and your community whether or not I am elected as your Councillor – feel free to contact me if you or your community need some practical assistance and advice. (087 784 50 70)

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