Why we need young voices to shape our political conversation
Sárán talks about running in the local elections and what he learned from the experience
This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Sárán Fogarty
Preferred pronouns: He/him
Party: Fianna Fáil
Local electoral area: Bray West
Elected in 2019 local elections?: No
What was the election experience like for you?
It was an overwhelming positive one, though there were a lot of ups and downs. Despite not getting elected I was incredibly happy with my campaign and the issues I raised. Learning how to campaign as a candidate can only really be done by experience and I was overwhelmed by how much I learned about myself and my community during it.
What went well for you during the elections?
I think that I engaged well with young people during the election and managed to raise issues that affected them in their everyday lives. I also think I ran an authentic campaign based on the issues I care about and what I think is challenging my district.
Is there anything you think you’ll do differently next time?
I would probably lend more of a focus to local issues rather than national, as sometimes when running a local campaign it can be easy to focus too much on national stuff. I’d also prefer to have begun my campaign earlier as I only had two and a half months as a candidate.
Do you think it’s important for more young people to get involved in politics? If so, what advice would you have for them?
Absolutely!! Young people are largely underrepresented in our democracy and the issues we face need young voices to address them, and to help shape the discourse surrounding those issues.
What are you planning on doing now?
At the moment I’m working and starting university in September. I’m also happy to have joined the SpunOut.ie Dublin Regional Action Panel to continue as an activist on the issues I care about.
Anything else you’d like to share about the experience or your plans going forward?
Deciding to run for election is a daunting experience and I commend anyone who puts themselves before the people. As a candidate it’s important to look after your own mental health and make sure you don’t burn out. Having a supportive team around you makes all the difference, and having love and support from your friends and family will be such an uplifting comfort for anyone who runs.