As a first time candidate, Emo's Sinead Moore is realistic about her chances of being part of the next Dáil.
The Green Party candidate is running in Laois and South Kildare to avoid the crowded Dublin ticket and ensure the party get more of a share of the vote to get national funding.
“It’s an experiment in a way, but obviously if I was elected I would be delighted and honoured and I believe I would do a really good job.
She continues: “I joined the Green Party over the issue of complex minerals in the Congo, and I really pushed that. I would be really serious about advocacy and I would be a good advocate.”
She says there are two reasons for running in this constituency.
“There's a couple of reasons why I didn't run in Dublin. Roderic O'Gorman, who is chairperson of the Green Party is running in Blanchardstown, so that wasn't an option for me. Every area of Dublin is taken up.
“But I'm not that naive that I think I'm going to get elected first time round. But I would just love to see the Green party revitalise .”
The other reason Ms Moore is running is to help the party achieve 2% of the national vote in order to get funding.
“The Green Party needs 2% of the national vote in order to get funding again, because it has no funding, all of us are doing this voluntarily. I believe that we need a green voice in Government.”
Controversially, Ms Moore says she is pro-life, a question that she has been faced with on the doorsteps.
“While canvassing, the first question someone asked me at the door was are you pro-life and the answer to that is yes, I am. The party have a different view, they think it’s ok to have an abortion in cases of foetal abnormality, rape and incest.”
Ms Moore acknowledges that it is a complex subject, but she says the unborn child needs to be protected.
She admits she left the party at first over her views.
“I did leave the Green Party over this issue. Eamon Ryan is being brave and allowing me to express my view on it. I have sleepless nights about this because it’s so difficult. It still is a human nonetheless. I love life and I love the environment. I think the Green Party for me is standing up for life.”
Ms Moore says she knows what it is like to have a crisis pregnancy, falling pregnant at 20 years of age while living in England. But having her daughter made her feel empowered.
“When I gave birth to my daughter I felt empowered, I turned into a she-woman when I gave birth. When I saw her face it was love at first sight. If I’d had an abortion she wouldn’t be here.”
As a Green Party candidate, Ms Moore is also of the view that political posters are not necessary and banning them would make it a more level playing field for everyone.
She continues: “I’d prefer if we had a notification saying these are the people that are running. Portarlington is poster free and it’s brilliant. It makes it a level playing field for everyone.
A secondary school Religion teacher and a mother of two, Ms Moore says she has been 'triple-jobbing' over the last number of months and admits this has put her at a disadvantage to the other candidates.
“I have two children and I'm teaching full time as well as doing this, so I'm triple jobbing. I come down during the week and on weekends.
“I don't like canvassing people's houses on Sunday's so I just go to the shopping centres and outside Mass. It's a very humbling experience.”
Among the issues she has been faced with on the doorsteps, Ms Moore says wind turbines has been a huge issue in rural areas.
“I think we need community based approach to this and we need to make sure there is an environmental impact assessment done to make sure this is the right place. We need to make sure that they won't affect the water tables.
She continued: “It's counter-productive and going against nature if you put in wind turbines in areas that have delicate habitats.
“Maybe we need more co-operatives. The Green Party are saying at least 15% of windfarms should be community owned. I think this is the way to go. We also need a mix of solar, wind and so on. The research hasn't been great so far so we need to up our game more on that.
“There are lots of other options. Wind should be in the mix, but on a much smaller scale and that everyone's involved so that the community benefit from it and actually make money from it.
Ms Moore says there is one common theme to the issues she is being confronted with on the doorsteps.
“The commute is a big thing and the cost of commuting, so I think we really need to lower prices. If we really want people to use public transport we can't make it really expensive.
“Also emigration is a big issue. I'm meeting people and all their children have left because there are no jobs in the area. There is a lack of local jobs - it's all linked.
Ms Moore thinks people need to think outside the box when it comes to job creation.
“There is massive potential in the by-products from oil, all the plastics. Maybe farmers could get involved in bio-plastics. Hemp is another material that is fantastic. IT's much healther than cement. We need to look at these kind of things. These areas need research and development, but are worth looking into.”
“There's a great urban/rural divide too. It would be great to bring children out to the country and maybe get the farmers to exchange their skills - teach them how to grow things.”
“We're losing out on a connection with nature. My view is if we look after the environment then the planet looks after us and we need to reconnect with it,” Ms Moore says passionately.
The Green Party candidate says it is a disgrace that the hospital's hours could be reduced.
“The people of Laois and surrounding areas are being punished on the double. It was under resourced in the first place. So now it has to be downgraded because it's not up to scratch.
“It just doesn't make sense. Where are people going to go. The prison officers are worried about their health and safety if they have to being a prisoner to Naas in the middle of the night. It's a real worry.”
“Crime is a massive issue. The resources just aren't there. I think all the issues are interlinked.
“People commuting mean houses are empty for most part of the day. So many great shops have been boarded up, there is a sense of neglect and money isn't being put in.
“I think what people are noticing is that there hasn't been investments in the roads, in business.”
Ms Moore says she would be relentless in getting more Government funding to improve the county.
“I would be an advocate for the people here, I would be saying this is simply just not good enough. I don't know what else I could do but I would be relentless with it because it's not good enough. It's very Dublin centric.
“It just makes sense to get the IDA to invest here in Laois to create jobs for local people and I will be advocating for that if I am elected.”
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