In the past I have worked in the media reporting on disability issues. I was disappointed to see that promises made years ago were not fulfilled by subsequent governments and this motivated me to run in the 2014 local elections
Ireland is one of the last countries world-wide to ratify the convention and I am delighted that Minister for Disabilities, Finian McGrath, T.D., has committed to ratification. Last year I brought forward a motion asking for all DLRCC councillors to support ratification, which was passed by a majority. I have had ongoing discussions with Minister McGrath who has kept me updated in this regard. I look forward to the ratification of the UN Convention soon. There are currently 600,000 people with a disability in Ireland. This ratification will also help their carers, the parents of special needs children and families who have an elderly member suffering with the onset of dementia or mobility problems. At a local level I have raised the problems endured by families due to the lengthy waiting time of assessments for grants from the County Council.
I supported the Disabled Drivers of Ireland's Operation Enable campaign that was launched some months ago. I have raised awareness for this campaign by placing it on the agenda at meetings of the Joint Policing Committee and the Transport Committee.
Last year I brought a motion to Council asking for support in recognising Deaf Blindness as a specific disability. The Anne Sullivan Centre in Stillorgan has been campaigning for this for some time and I was delighted to attend their annual conference over the last two years.
The Irish Cancer Society’s DLR Relay for Life 24-hour event is held annually in Blackrock Park. This is centred round the lake in the park. In 2015, I brought a motion forward at a Council meeting asking for this area to be made into a smoke-free zone for non-smokers.
I actively support sports and fitness in the county. I believe that it is important to encourage citizens who do not regularly participate in sport to be active. Over the last few years I have taken part in the various 5k and 10k runs organised in the county – the DLR Bay 10k Race, Kilbogget Community 5K and the Sandyford Business District Twilight Team Challenge. I am a supporter of the DLR Movers, a walking group who meet twice weekly and actively encourage walking and fitness throughout the county.