Below you will find information about me and my reasons for entering politics, as well as what you can expect from me if elected. You can also read about my successful public policy experience, which equips me with the skills to excel as a senator, as well as information about my professional background and career. As always, please do call me via the number provided on my contact webpage should you have any questions or would like to know more: I always welcome a friendly chat.
I am a proud Irish citizen and pragmatic idealist of the millennial generation, who has witnessed the great change that Ireland has gone through in shaking off its conservative shackles and joining the progressive world.
I grew up dividing my time between Dublin and rural Ireland, where I have lived very happily for many years now. Through these experiences, I understand many of the perpetual issues that our country has struggled to solve for so long. Being in my early thirties, I also appreciate and experience regularly the great divide of services and support that rural Ireland suffers due to continual failures to embrace a meaningful shift to a smart economy based on well-planned decentralization.
Aside from my interest in politics, I enjoy live music, watching motorsports and attending League of Ireland football matches with my friends.
My reasons for entering politics
I have always had an avid interest in politics and international affairs, and I have known since a young age that I wanted to be involved in the advancement of progressive political ideals. To this end, I naturally developed an interest in public policy at an early age, and from there steadily developed an informed position on many matters of relevance to Ireland today. At the same time, I have witnessed a slow but continual decline in the quality of Irish politics, which unfortunately seems incapable of dealing with an ever-increasing number of problems that face our society.
Part of the issue seems to be the inability of Irish politicians to make unbiased decisions that are in the long-term national interest and not the interests of their individual constituency or political party. My own experiences working on the rural broadband issue (see public policy section below) showed me that while we do have some truly committed politicians who understand the important responsibilities inherent in their role, we also have many more who are out of touch with reality and not working as hard as they could be for the national interest.
Ultimately, we need politicians who are passionate and committed to upholding their election promises. In this respect, I am tired of seeing successive broken commitments to the electorate and I have never been able to understand why elected politicians do not follow through on their promises. I personally believe that we need to elect politicians who truly value integrity and are knowledgeable across a broad range of policy topics.
It is for the above reasons, coupled with the fact that I believe I can do a more effective job compared to many current politicians, that I am standing as a candidate for election.
My election promises
If you elect me, I will give a voice to you whether you are an Irish citizen that lives at home or abroad. I will never treat the role of Senator as a ‘job for life’ and I will work hard every day to maintain your respect and uphold your vote. You will see and hear from me regularly and not just every five years come election time. In these regards, you can expect the following from me as Senator in the performance of my Seanad Éireann duties:
- Adhere to the policy positions that I have detailed in my manifesto and vote accordingly.
- Read all written submissions that are made to Oireachtas Committees for which I am a member.
- Exercise all rights afforded to Oireachtas members for the purposes of scrutinizing the Government and our public bodies.
- Conduct my own impartial research on the issues dealt with by a legislative Bill and adopt political positions based on empirical results.
- Follow my conscience when voting and support decisions that are in Ireland’s long-term interest, without concern for my re-electability.
- Be completely transparent and accountable regarding the issues that I work on and in how I allocate my time.
- Contribute to every Bill that is being scrutinized by Seanad Éireann and the Oireachtas Committees of which I am a member.
- Attend Oireachtas Committees that I am not a member of when they are considering any matter that concerns the national interest.
- Represent Ireland’s talents, culture and values when abroad and uphold its respected reputation.
- Engage with the NUI constituency regularly to rejuvenate it and provide electors the opportunity to evaluate my performance.
Public policy experience
As the managing director of the Regional Internet Service Providers Association (RISPA), an organization that I helped to establish, I spent the past year and a half representing the indigenous industry of 40 Irish broadband companies. The focus of my role was to communicate to politicians and the broader public the value to our economy of these Irish companies, who have been successfully delivering broadband for the better part of twenty years and employing high skilled people across rural Ireland. As part of my work, I wrote the alternative to the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and made two high-profile presentations before the Oireachtas committees of public accounts and communications.
Ultimately, the delegation that I led demonstrated how Ireland’s indigenous broadband companies could deliver a service to homes and businesses that was identical in performance to the maximum NBP specification but which could be delivered in two years for €402 million instead of seven years at a taxpayer cost of €2.97 billion: an opportunity cost-saving of over €2.5 billion and a delivery improvement of five years earlier. On foot of this work and the arguments presented by the delegation that I led, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Communications issued its official investigatory report on the national broadband plan, which made recommendations that the NBP proposal should be completely redesigned in favour of cost-effective alternatives that other countries have successfully implemented.
You can read RISPA’s submission to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Communications by following this link: Alternative to the NBP
My educational background has given me a skillset that robustly equips me for the responsibilities of serving as an effective member of Seanad Éireann. I graduated from University College Dublin in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in politics and philosophy, where I majored in geopolitics, terrorism and political communication and minored in morality, ethics and legal reasoning. Whilst studying in UCD during my first year, I also successfully pursued a Davy Stockbrokers accredited diploma in investment and finance.
Upon graduation from UCD, I moved to Belgium to study for my master’s degree in international conflict and security at the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies. During my time in Brussels, I specialized in negotiation and mediation practice, and focused my dissertation on the energy security of the European Union, wherein I proved the superior return on investment value and wider economic benefits of renewable energy technologies compared to expansions of the fossil fuels industry.
Global Health:After finishing my master’s, I began working with a veteran of the global health industry and cultivating my understanding of Global Health Diplomacy in the context of my academic background in security studies. Ultimately, the insights that I gained led me to become an advocate for the humanitarian application of militaries in support of vulnerable peoples who are struggling to overcome health crises and suffering due to weak public health systems.
Business: My entry into the world of international business began in my mid-twenties when I accepted an opportunity to work for a newly established insurance brokerage. During my time working for the Company, I developed an interest in compliance and was mentored by its chief executive officer, from whom I learned a great deal about the industry and the wider world of international business. Knowing from the start that a career in the insurance industry was never going to be a long-term option for me, I eventually pivoted into project management and then business consultancy. In time and by combining all my different professional experiences, I focused and specialized in the areas of compliance, governance and commercial development. My work continues to evolve and today encompasses an increasingly international focus with the evaluation of opportunities for companies seeking new market growth.
Profession: After accumulating a diversity of business experience through my twenties, I decided to pursue my professional accreditation as a governance and compliance specialist. Upon completion of the two-year qualification programme, I was admitted as a professional member to the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA), which is globally recognized as the most prestigious governance and compliance organizational body. Subsequently, I pursued the specialized independent non-executive director (iNED) programme and added competencies in board governance, ethics, corporate accountability and control of risk.