The recovery is for all or else it is for no one

A Different Kind of Politics. A Different Kind of Politician — My campaign video, February 2016.

Dear Dublin Bay North constituent,

Politics, at its very best, is about listening. But at some point in our recent history, some politicians stopped listening and the country collapsed. One of the casualties of the crash was trust.

Why should anyone have faith in politics again? To believe in the common good? To trust that we can all recover?

Recovery is a strange word. As Drugs Strategy Minister I meet people battling through recovery every day and they are incredibly enlightened people. They know that recovery is tough and that learning to trust and to be trusted again is difficult.

Politics feels the same. Can we say that we’re in better place than in 2011? Yes we can. Does everyone feel it? Not yet. Is trust broken? Yes.

My beliefs are based on the simple premise that we are greater than our individual parts. That we are in this together, and together we can make recovery work for everyone. The recovery is for all, or else it is for no one.

Politics is not about pointing at problems; or about pointing at each other. It must be about finding solutions and pointing the way forward.

I’ve been listening. Listening to young people and young families. To workers and carers. To parents and grandparents. We need solutions to the cost of childcare, to the housing crisis, to our health service, to poverty, inequality and crime. And we need to repair the lost of trust.

I used to tell the children in my school in Sheriff Street that they could achieve anything if they were willing to work for it. So I’m willing to work for it. To work for you, your family and your community. And to work for our country.

No one wants to hear promises that can’t be kept. But you can trust me to work hard and to keep listening.

I am asking you to trust me with your vote.


I’ve been proud to serve as Minister for New Communities, Culture, Equality and National Drugs Strategy. Some of my personal highlights as a minister and political representative are below.

DRUGS REFORM POLICIES:

This interview became known for #pingate but the vast majority of the Brendan O’Connor interview was about my work as Minister for National Drugs Strategy.

EDUCATION/ LITERACY:

WOMEN’S EQUALITY:

MARRIAGE EQUALITY/LGBT RIGHTS:

REFUGEES/ASYLUM SEEKERS:

TRAVELLERS’ RIGHTS:

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