Eilis Haden

Inishowen, Direct Democracy Ireland

Eilis The National Women’s Collective – Donegal Women’s Network sent an ‘Open Invitation’ to all 2014 local election candidates to respond to questions that have been identified as areas of concern by voters in Donegal.

Each candidate was  invited to respond and to pledge to undertake specific actions if they are successful and elected onto Donegal County Council.

This we believe will give the electorate an insight into each candidate as well as giving the candidates an open forum which could be helpful in securing votes.

Below are the questions with the candidates response.

 

 

YOUR CANDIDATE EILIS HADEN
QUESTION  

AS A PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVE CANDIDATE FOR DONEGAL WHAT SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE TO OFFER?

 

RESPONSE:  

As an International human rights worker, and community volunteer, I have learned to become extremely effective at cutting through red tape, advocating and negotiating on behalf of the people. This is a delicate process which requires firm commitment, stamina and drive and a willingness to set aside personal agendas in favour of the greater need. Too many politicians at both local and national level are not willing to make this commitment or do not have the wherewithal to see it through. Whilst I am new to politics, my past and current employment experience proves that I have the skills and abilities necessary.

IF ELECTED WILL YOU WORK TOWARDS UPHOLDING AND PROMOTING THE ETHOS OF SOCIAL INCLUSION, EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS? YES
CHILDCARE
QUESTION  

THE COST OF CHILDCARE IN DONEGAL HAS RECENTLY BEEN PROVED TO ACT AS A BARRIER TO LOW INCOME WORKING FAMILIES TO EITHER REMAIN IN OR TAKE UP EMPLOYMENT. WITH AN AVERAGE COST FOR 2 CHILDREN IN FULL TIME DAY CARE EQUATING TO €16,500 PER YEAR AFTER TAX – WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ADDRESS THIS SITUATION AT POLICY LEVEL IN DONEGAL?

RESPONSE:  

As well as campaigning for an end to the so-called ‘Granny tax’ I will work with government bodies to bring about increased employment and capital funding for small business. This can be done through the provision of micro-finance and government loans for the provision of real jobs (rather than CE schemes, which, whilst beneficial in getting people back in the loop do not pay sufficiently). This will mean that, whilst child carers can earn what they need, parents can afford to remain in or take up employment. It will also mean that parents have more opportunities to set up their own small businesses/cottage industries enabling them to work flexible hours around the needs of their children.

CARERS
QUESTION 

IN LIGHT OF THE MANY CUTS TO SERVICES I.E. HOME HELPS, SPECIAL NEEDS ASSISTANTS AND PERSONAL ASSISTANTS, WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ADDRESS THIS SITUATION AT A POLICY LEVEL IN DONEGAL?

RESPONSE:  

It is appalling that home help, special needs assistant and personal assistant services are being cut. My family and friends are also affected by this issue and I understand that services are crucial to the dignity and well-being of those of us who are in need and that adequate payment for carers and other assistants is essential. At a policy level, I aim to address this as a matter of priority in terms of releasing funding for these crucial services and supporting people on a one-to-one level in their applications for related benefits.

DOMESTIC ABUSE + VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
QUESTIONS 

HAVE YOU OR WILL YOU SIGN UP TO THE MAN-UP CAMPAIGN?

 

RESPONSES:  

YES

WILL YOU UNDERTAKE A HALF DAY WORKSHOP IN 2014 ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?  YES
DONEGAL WOMEN’S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICE HAS RECENTLY EXPANDED THE NUMBER OF ACCOMMODATION UNITS IT SUPPLIES YET THERE HAS BEEN NO FURTHER INCREASE IN FUNDING FROM DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL.  HOW WILL YOU ADDRESS THIS? I have several ideas on this. One option might be through the current system of release of dis-used Garda stations to communities should they be able to prove that they can sustain these buildings. I would be happy to assist in the application process through which these buildings are used as accommodation units. I would also work with communities on the development of a grants scheme to expand funding for Donegal Women’s Domestic Violence Service.
LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER (LGBT)
QUESTION 

IN THE UPCOMING REFERENDUM ON SAME SEX MARRIAGE, WHAT ACTIONS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE A BALANCED DEBATE IN DONEGAL?

RESPONSE:  

For the past five years, I have worked on film projects with young people across the North-West addressing discrimination at a local and national level. These have included enabling them to make films addressing LGBT issues and have stimulated a very positive response from all involved. I would ensure that the voices of my friends, family members and constituents who are LGBT are heard alongside those who hold opposing views on same sex marriage. I would do this through inviting a balance of those involved to speak at council and enabling access to funding so that they can give public talks and have thorough debate that will hopefully address prejudice and fear.

TRAVELLERS
QUESTION 

WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ENSURE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL TRAVELLER ACCOMMODATION 2014-2018 PLAN?

RESPONSE:  

This is an issue which is new to me but I can guarantee that I will advocate on behalf of the rights of the Traveller community, with whom I have worked with in the past on film projects. I will thoroughly explore the issues involved for Travellers affected by the plan as well as the concerns of those in opposition and will advocate and negotiate to the best of my abilities.

WOMEN’S POLITICAL  REPRESENTATION
QUESTIONSDO YOU SUPPORT THE 5050 CAMPAIGN TO SECURE EQUAL POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN IRELAND?

 

RESPONSES:  

YES

IF NO PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY.  NA
WHAT ACTIONS WILL YOU TAKE WITHIN YOUR PARTY OR AS AN INDEPENDENT TO ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT AT LEAST 30% FEMALE PARTICIPATION IN THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION? I myself became involved in politics through the Women Into Politics Training programme and greatly value the benefits of positive discrimination until such a time as we reach a fair ratio. As a member of the Direct Democracy Ireland Executive Committee, I will (and already do) actively encourage an increase in female membership and involvement. I will liaise with women’s networks on an ongoing basis to alert them to any upcoming opportunities or free training for women considering politics as a career.
EQUALITY IN DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL 
QUESTIONS 

DO YOU AGREE THAT DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL SHOULD BE MORE FAMILY FRIENDLY FOR ITS ELECTED COUNCILLORS?

RESPONSES:  

YES

WHAT ACTIONS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THIS CHANGE? I will campaign for more family friendly hours of work with regards to official council duties and where this is not possible, I will work to develop adequate childcare facilities and supports for parents working in public office.
DO YOU AGREE GENDER EQUALITY IS A FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE UNDERPINNING THE CONCEPT OF SOCIAL JUSTICE, AND HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS IN IRELAND? YES
Part of the “BE INFORMED… about your 2014 Local Election Candidates” by NCCWN-Donegal Women’s Network www.donegalwomensnetwork.wordpress.com   

 

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