If we want better policies for our country, we need policymakers who rely on evidence and not anecdotes. To make our society better, we need to understand what’s going in. And when we look into it, we see there’s a lot we can change. Inequality is high, homelessness is getting worse, deprivation is a problem for many, domestic abuse continues, our police force is stretched, we are failing marginalised children, we don’t understand mental health.
What you see behind me is our society, in numbers. We should start with these numbers and build our policies to change them. We should use evidence to understand and improve all of our lives.
We deserve a society that provides a safety net, that strives for equality, and that accounts for future generations. We deserve an economy that is broad, rewards effort, and thrives on our education. And we deserve institutions that can respond to social problems efficiently and effectively. We deserve a country that is economically dynamic, socially progressive, and institutionally cohesive. We can achieve all of this with better policies, which we should base on the evidence before us.
I want these ideals and ever-better policies to be the foundation of my career. That’s why I am looking for your first preference on the Seanad’s NUI Panel. I know I can make a difference. So please take a look at the material provided on my site, which I hope convinces you of that.
 Ireland most unequal EU country (TASC, 2015 - http://www.tasc.ie/news/2015/02/16/tasc-report-says-ireland-will-move-closer-to-us-le/)
 134 families made homeless in Dublin in January (Dublin Homeless Regional Executive, January 2016)
 51% of those who cannot work due to disability face deprivation (CSO, SIA14, 2014), 59% of lone parent households face deprivation (CSO, SIA16, 2014), 30% of households with two adults and 1-3 children face deprivation (CSO, SIA16, 2014)
 14% of women subject to physical abuse at some point since age 15 (EU-FRA, 2012); 4,831 women and children could not be provided with emergency refuge in 2014 (Safe Ireland, 2016)
 2008: 285 people per Garda / 2015: 360 people per Garda - hence increase in number of people a Garda has to care for rose by 20% (own calculations based on Garda and CSO data)
 5,900 children waiting for a social worker (Government at UN, 2016); 1,600 children in Direct Provision (HIQA, 2015)
 Only 53% of public think those with mental health issues are trustworthy (St Patrick’s MH Services, 2015)