As part of a new series of occasional guest posts, I am asking members of our campaign to let the readers of this blog know about their motivation for involvement, the work they do and the hopes they have for our campaign for community and change. This week's first guest blog post is from Colm Lawless, Labour Youth's National Secretary who lives in Templeogue.
My name is Colm Lawless and I am a Fifth Year secondary school student. I got involved in Dermot’s campaign through local work as a Labour Party member. I first met Dermot at the Labour Party Conference in Wexford in 2007, having previously known him as the Communications Officer of Labour Youth and a strong voice against coalescing with Fine Gael. From there, Dermot announced that he had intentions to run for South Dublin County Council. Having a local young councillor with strong socialist convictions is something that the majority of council wards and boroughs in Ireland do not have, and we are very lucky in Dublin South-West to have just that representation. In an age dominated by corporatism, exploitation and greed it is vital that we have candidates like Dermot who are ready to push the cause for a decent society, based on merit and not means.
Since becoming involved in the campaign I have participated in various promoting activities. I am actively involved in leafleting at weekends, distributing leaflets about important local issues and campaigns and highlighting the importance of the community as a means to solve local issues. The issue of the McHugh’s site in Greenhills remains a prominent campaign issue, as people are marginalised without a place to buy their messages or to go to the chemist. We have had huge success as a campaign, which has the youngest team on average in Ireland. We have fought against incompetency and conservatism, and we have fought to ensure that the ordinary people of Greenhills receive a Councillor that is ready to meet the challenges of an ever changing society. I have greatly enjoyed my time so far as a volunteer for Dermot, as I feel that the work we have done has served the community well, and the hope is always that any effort made is an effort made on behalf of the community.
Looking into the future, I believe that we can win a seat in Greenhills and change the way South Dublin County Council looks at ordinary residents. It’s time for political representatives to step up to the mark and serve the people that they were elected to serve. I firmly believe that we have that candidate in Dermot Looney, who as a Greenhills resident all his life, has stood up for the rights of ordinary people and has stood up for the cause of socialism. Dermot has always been a diligent campaigner, a diligent worker and will be a diligent Councillor. Our campaign is focused on the principles of equal opportunity and the right to a safe neighbourhood with decent infrastructure. Dermot has been a great source of inspiration to me as a young person, showing how young people can be heard in politics. I have never met a candidate who shares such similar views to my own and who I know will serve South Dublin County Council with the same energy, flair and enthusiasm that I know Dermot for expressing. It has been a pleasure working with the campaign so far, and I look forward to the contest ahead.