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General Election Candidate: Kathryn Reilly

This Sinn Fein candidate for Cavan-Monaghan is the youngest ever Senator elected to the Seanad


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in news


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This is one in a series of profiles on young General Election candidates for 2016. If you are a candidate and would like to take part, email editor@spunout.ie.

  • Name: Kathryn Reilly
  • Constituency: Cavan-Monaghan
  • Party: Sinn Fein

In a nutshell, tell us about yourself

Youngest Senator ever elected to the Seanad. From Ballyjamesduff, County Cavan. Sinn Féin. DCU and UCD graduate. Dog lover.

If elected, what will your priorities be? 

  • I am committed to delivering a fair recovery and abolishing the stealth taxes that are water charges and the family home tax.
  • Addressing the housing crisis- 100,000 new social homes, rent certainty & ensuring security of tenure to tenants, protecting them from eviction.
  • Equality for young people- making sure they are treated equally in social welfare system by reversing the FF/FG/LAB cuts to young peoples payments.

What do you think are the issues that most affect young people in Ireland today?

  • Access to quality well-paid jobs, with career progression opportunities.
  • I think this is an important issue as many young people are being forced into part-time, precarious work that often does not advance their careers. Indeed, with cuts to career guidance, social welfare for young people and the increase in young people being forced onto schemes like JobBridge that often exploit them, young people are very often neglected in the workforce. This can be seen in the high incidence of young people emigrating.

If elected, what will you do about these issues?

Sinn Féin is of the view that the state via (i) the welfare system; (ii) pay rates; (iii) the taxation system; (iii) the provision of public services; (iv) and robust industrial relations legislation can put in place a national strategy that prioritises all people by emphasising their social security. In respect of young people we will deliver:

  • Over the next two budgets restore the rates for young jobs seekers to the standard Jobseekers payment of €188;
  • An incremental move to a living wage;
  • Ban zero hour contracts;
  • Ensure the full implementation of the EU
  • Directive on Part-time Work;
  • Attach social clauses to all capital and public works contracts worth in excess of one million euro

What message have you for young voters? 

Use your vote. Use it however you wish at the ballot box. But vote. Make arrangements to get to the polling booth, tick that box and be a part of democracy.

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Published February 2nd, 2016
Last updated February 16th, 2016
Tags general election voting politics ge16profile
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.
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