- 22 May 19
There is an impressive field in Dublin, with a number of imosing candidates. But none will represent the cultural tribe better than independent Senator, Alice Mary Higgins.
We need strong, independent politicians in Europe. And we also need representatives who understand the importance of culture, theatre, literature, music and art. It is remarkable how few of the individuals who are putting themselves forward for election to Europe have shown an abiding interest in the life of the imagination. Alice Mary Higgins is one and that makes her the best choice in Dublin for the greater Hot Press, music and arts tribe.
It isn’t just that, as the daughter of President Michael D. Higgins and Actress Sabina Higgins, she grew up in a house where culture was central and poets and artists were welcome. She took that forward in her studies, doing a degree in English and Philosophy. She has Masters degrees in Philosophy and a Masters in Sociology and worked in theatre in the US. Returning to Ireland, and working for Trócaire, she learned more about the challenges facing the developing world. She became an advocate in relation to climate change, highlighting its disproportionate impact on the most disadvantaged people and regions.
Alice Mary has an abiding interest in global geopolitical affairs. Throughout her professional life she has demonstrated a commitment to social and economic equality. Working with Colámh, she developed anti-racism and diversity initiatives. She is a pioneer, achieving a remarkable breakthrough when she became the first woman ever to be elected to the Seanad on the NUI panel. She is a feminist, who played her part as a policy co-ordinator at the National Women's Council. And she has been on the right side in all of the major changes that Irish society has undergone over the past 25 years or so. She is supported by people as diverse as Ailbhe Smyth, Lynn Ruane and Declan Kiberd, among many more leading progressive figures. Hot Press will be voting Alice Mary Higgins No.1 in the Dublin constituency...
THREE FOR YOUR PREFERENCES
The Dublin field as a relatively strong one, with six or seven candidates who can make a genuine claim for your support. Remember that in PR, there is a chance that your vote will pass on – so think about how that is likely to work. But there are three other candidates that stand out
• Clare Daly us a formidable politician. Standing under the 'Independents 4 Change' banner, she has been one of the strongest and most convincing left-wing voices in Dáil Éireann over the past two decades. It would be a very good thing if she too were to get across the line. Give her a vote…
• The environment is the most daunting issue that politicians will have to grapple with over the coming decade. There are times when the Green Party can seem too preachy and smug, but their message is becoming increasingly urgent – and Ciarán Cuffe knows his onions..
• From our perspective, for the third slot here, it is a toss-up between Alex White (Labour) and Gillian Brien (People Before Profit). Rita brings a wealth of passion and energy to the table, but of the two Alex White is far more likely to be in the final shake-up. A resurgent Labour is good. You choose!
Avoid like the plague: Hermann Kelly