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Meet the candidates: Elisa O’Donovan, Social Democrats, Limerick City West

Meet the candidates: Elisa O’Donovan. Social Democrats, Limerick City West

Elisa O'Donovan

Address

O’Connell Avenue

Occupation

Speech and Language Therapist

Why have you decided to run in the Local Elections ?

I am a proud Limerick woman who is passionate about Limerick City and its people. I feel it is now time for a new generation of Limerick people to step up and pave the way for the developments and progress that we desperately need in this city. Through my work with Headway, Disability Federation of Ireland, Swimable Limerick and Limerick Public Participation Network, I have been actively involved with many communities throughout our city and county. I have always been a strong advocate for equality and diversity in politics. Limerick Council currently has eight women out of 40 sitting councillors. This is not good enough for a progressive city. We need more women’s voices in city and county hall.

Why should people vote for you?

The Social Democrats in Limerick bring a positive, empathetic approach to local politics that is rooted in evidence-based planning, accountability and reasoned responses to community issues. As a speech and language therapist I am proud to be an allied health professional with an extensive background in research and policy and a strong sense of what is needed on the ground. I believe these skills have been absent in our local sitting councillors, resulting in poor planning and weak policy decisions. I am actively involved with many sporting and community organisations throughout the city and will bring an energy and enthusiasm to Limerick politics.

What do you think is lacking in your area and what will you be campaigning for?

Limerick needs a public transport system that is fit for purpose, links all the hubs around the city, and is built on public consultation and joined-up thinking.

I am an active voice in the Limerick cycling community and have led campaigns for cycling infrastructure.

We need stationless bike schemes to provide a public bike sharing system to Dooradoyle, Raheen and Mungret areas.

Investing in public services and community amenities is vitally important for Limerick. Through my Swimable Limerick initiative I have facilitated a public swimming area in Limerick City. I will continue to campaign for leisure facilities in Ballinacurra, Dooradoyle, Raheen, Patrickswell and Clarina. Public amenities are desperately lacking within our city. That we only have two play areas in Limerick City West for thousands of children is detrimental to the well-being and health of everyone.

I will advocate for child-friendly community spaces for parents to bring their children and accessible spaces that can be used by young and old.

Reform of local council will be a priority for the Social Democrats. I will promote community-based planning where citizens are consulted about our city’s future, in the form of local citizen assemblies.

As the organiser of the first Limerick ‘Community Day’ I believe in improving the face of our city through real engagement and inclusion with its people.

I am deeply concerned about local environmental issues and am committed to working with Limerick Against Pollution to find real solutions to the concerns of the people of Limerick. I am actively engaged with water quality monitoring of the River Shannon and am passionate about saving our city’s green spaces.

I am an invited speaker at the Mindscape summit in UL later this month where I will be speaking on the positive impact of nature in the urban environment on our health and well-being.

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