My name is Cllr. Deirdre O’Donovan from Knocklyon.  I have been working together with Independent TD Shane Ross for the past five years and in 2014 was elected to South Dublin County Council as an Independent County Councillor.

I have been one of the few Independent County Councillors fortunate enough to secure a nomination on the Industrial and Commercial Panel in the upcoming Seanad Elections.

We are so fortunate as public representatives to have such a rewarding job, but in the current climate, it is also extremely challenging.

And having met so many County Councillors while canvassing around the country, there is a real frustration at the lack of support we get in helping us to help our constituents.

We have a real opportunity to change the way we do politics in this country, as long as we work together.

As an Independent County Councillor on South Dublin County Council I have been very fortunate to secure a nomination on the Industrial and Commercial Panel.

As a 43-year-old mum-of-two, I am a full-time elected representative and feel more can be done to support us as we work to support our constituents.

While canvassing in the past few weeks, what is becoming clear from speaking to fellow Councillors is that there is a real frustration at the erosion of our powers following the 2014 Local Government Reform Act – and the fact that too few voices in the Seanad spoke up on our behalf.  I promise to change that.

As a committed campaigner and activist, I feel best placed to represent you in Seanad Eireann.

Please vote Cllr. Deirdre O’Donovan No. 1 on the Industrial and Commercial Panel or your highest possible preference.