Separation of Church and State.

A 21st century Republic should not have its education and health sectors dominated by unaccountable religious institutions. I am active in the campaign to ensure our new National Maternity Hospital and the land it is built on are in full public ownership, free of religious influence. I have been a long-term campaigner for education equality and removal of the baptism barrier from our school system. I have been involved in local campaigns to establish Educate Together schools in North Dublin.

Affordable Housing.

Housing is a human right, and housing policy is core to my work. On Dublin City Council I have fought tirelessly to
Build social and affordable housing on public lands
End to long term leasing of public housing from private developers
Oppose financialisation of housing. Housing is not a commodity like any other and must be built with the needs of society in mind, not purely to maximise developer profit
Strengthen local democracy. When it comes to planning, central government repeatedly attempts to overrule local democracy in favour of schemes drawn up by property speculators, which I have consistently opposed.

Ending Gender-based violence.

It’s time for a huge cultural shift - gender-based violence is preventable, and we should prioritise its prevention as a matter of urgency. Evidence-based education on sexualities, relationships and consent should be provided in all schools and third level institutions. However, people at risk of gender-based violence can’t wait a generation for society to change, so we also need to bring these discussions to adults, through unions, professional bodies and workplaces.

PhD students.

PhD students are workers who should be paid a living wage. This is important in terms of worker’s rights, but also to support the mental health of PhD candidates and to promote academic independence. Similarly, the precarious nature of academic work needs to be addressed, with far too many academic professionals denied permanent contracts. It is vital for our society and our economy that we invest heavily in education, research and development across all disciplines. This will only happen successfully if we treat students and academics fairly.

“Catherine would be a brilliant Senator for Trinity. Over the twenty years I have known her and followed her work I have seen her enormous personal and political integrity and deep commitment to social justice. She is someone you can trust to get things done – exactly the sort of representative we should have in the Seanad. We need more women in public life, and Catherine is one of the women I think we need.”

Professor Darryl Jones
Former Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and a Fellow of Trinity College

Reproductive healthcare.

I was a community leader in the Dublin Bay North Together For Yes campaign in 2018. In the years since the referendum victory, I have been involved with the Together for Safety group, who are working for safe access zones and to make sure a “repeal review” takes place, focusing on eliminating barriers to accessing abortion care. At present abortion care is available in 10 hospitals across 8 counties, not yet the “safe, local, legal” provision that so many people campaigned for.

I was an active member of the team who drafted the Social Democrats’ sexual and reproductive health policies, including

  • evidence based sexualities and relationships education
  • LGBTQ+
  • consent and sexual rights
  • body positivity
  • state funded IVF / infertility treatment
  • improved maternity care
  • free first trimester screening tests
  • expansion of perinatal mental health services

Climate action

My motion to implement recommendations for a Just Transition was accepted by Dublin City Council and is now part of the City Development Plan. I was active in organising, and spoke at the COP26 climate march in Dublin in November 2021. I have a long-standing involvement with local community gardens and biodiversity initiatives near my home in North Dublin. I believe nature-based solutions (https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/what-are-nature-based-solutions-and-how-can-they-help-us-address-the-climate-crisis) are key to solving the climate crisis.

We need your help

To ensure that we can bring about a new way of doing politics that prioritises the benefit of the many over the privilege of the few based on a shared commitment to the common good and on the enduring values of solidarity and fairness.