My name is Liam Quaide and I work in the Adult Mental Health Services as a Clinical Psychologist. I am a Local Election Candidate for the Green Party in the Midleton/Youghal LEA on May 24th. I have been passionate about social justice all my life. Between 2004 and 2008 I worked in a service for people with Acquired Brain Injury. I saw first-hand how unfairly set up society is in many ways for people with disabilities and how small changes – making a footpath more accessible, for instance – can make a big difference to someone’s quality of life. I volunteered for several years with the Samaritans helpline – supporting people who were isolated and suicidal. I also volunteered in our juvenile prison service and with Amnesty International.
I later went on to train as a Clinical Psychologist and have continued to work with people with disabilities and mental health difficulties in our health system. This work has given me a deep understanding of the many challenges our people face – the housing crisis in particular. As a psychologist, I have seen that many of our social problems require political solutions. It is clear that if we want an end to the housing and health crises and if we want to address the great environmental challenges of our time, we need new politicians in power.
In 2016 I became a parent for the first time. Until then I was aware of climate change as a vague threat. As I read more on the subject I realised that we had a fast-diminishing window of time to address climate change and that we need to start immediately. Without doing so my daughter’s generation will be in serious trouble.
Our sitting MEPs – particularly those from Fianna Fail and Fine Gael – have obstructed climate action time and time again in the European Parliament. As a result of our government’s inaction we are facing EU emission fines of several hundred million euro over the coming years.
My vision for East Cork
As a Green Party candidate I have something different to offer East Cork voters. I have a vision for the region that does not involve us stewing in traffic for a good part of our working day, or enduring lengthy queues for basic services, or having our environment trashed with litter.
I will work to ensure that our health, education, and disability services are equipped to meet the needs of all our citizens. I aim to have our nursing-homes become mini-communities where our older citizens can go on pursuing meaningful goals and making connections. I will fight for security of tenure, fair rents, and affordable house prices. I will make our flood defences a priority. I will campaign for a modern, joined-up public transport system and cycling infrastructure that will ease pressure on our roads and allows commuters to travel to work/college with relative ease. I will also promote enforcement of littering laws, and campaign to have our County Councils better resourced to look after our public spaces.
We can move towards these goals the more Green representatives are elected to all levels of government. I have serious commitment and energy and I hope I will get the opportunity to represent you.