Name: Saoirse McHugh
European Constituency: Midlands-North-West
Preferred pronoun: She/her
Party: Green Party
Have you held a previous elected position?: No
What are your reasons for running?:
I’m angry and concerned that our environment is collapsing and the necessary change is happening far too slowly. I’ve been banging on politicians’ doors for years to little avail so I’m putting my money where my mouth is.
What parliamentary group will you sit with in EP and why?:
The European Greens/EFA. I agree with their mandate to tackle climate change radically and build an environmentally sustainable society which leaves no one behind.
What do you think are the biggest issues facing young people in Ireland and what do you intend to do about them?:
Issues such as mental health and rising inequality affect more and more young people everyday, but I believe that if our environment collapses then we will face much bigger challenges like famine and war. Today’s problems will seem small compared to what’s waiting if we don’t change direction. The transition advocated by the European Greens places huge emphasis on a more economically equal society with increased investment in well-being. Much of today’s problems arise from inequality and that is something that can be addressed as we transition to a low carbon economy.
What will you do to ensure funding for opportunities (e.g. Erasmus and the Youth Employment Initiative) is increased in the next Multi-annual Financial Framework?:
An MEP has their voice and their vote to use in the European Parliament on behalf of their constituents. I believe that by investing in young people we can create well rounded and socially responsible adults which in turn can help build a fairer society. The centre right dominance in the European Parliament and in Leinster House has led to a drying up in this investment and the results can be seen by our suicide rate, rural depopulation and the increase in crime. The European Greens are wholly committed to investing in youth development and education and this can be seen from their voting records.
Any other comments?:
Being a politician was never part of my plan but I’ve just come to a stage where I’m enraged by the inaction and I have to stand up and be heard. Maybe I’ll win a seat, maybe I won’t, but I will shout as loud as I can for what is the most important issue humanity has ever faced.