Senator Ronan Mullen was in Longford at the weekend to introduce himself as a new Independent Candidate for the Midlands-North-West Constituency.
The election hopeful held a public discussion entitled ‘Time to Reform Irish Politics - Listening to Communities’ at the Longford Arms Hotel on Saturday night last.
“I am running in this constituency and am anxious to meet with the people to discuss matters and to find out was European Elections mean to them,” Senator Mullen told the Leader.
“The way our political system operates is certainly an issue with most people as far as I can see, and it is clear that there is deep dissatisfaction with austerity and the lack of protection from the economic collapse.”
The EU election hopeful went on to say that communities across the country were suffering in silence, as important services were removed - bit by bit - from the ground. “The cutbacks to garda resources has had a devastating impact on communities,” the Galway native stated.
“The health service is in crisis and hospital services have also been cut back, and it because of issues like these the most people feel that politics is not working from them. There is also absolute disgust towards political promises being made in the run up to elections, because they never seem to materialise and there is apathy brought on by anger towards politics in general in this country.”
Despite all this, Senator Mullen believes that there is a deep filled hope in Ireland that “things will get better”, and it is this hope that he has perhaps afforded him an opportunity to tap into the psyche of a nation that is utterly disillusioned by not just politics, but by the financial services, the lack of employment and the constant daily battle by many to just keep the roof over their heads.
“If people disengage from politics altogether, they make it easier for the animals that caused all these problems in the first place; so it is important not to lose faith and to become even more engaged,” added Senator Mullen.
“The recent Party Whip scenario and the situation with Lucinda Creighton didn’t help matters either, because all this sent out a message that party leaders say jump and TD and Senators say how high?” “I want to listen to what people have to say about what has happened and of course I have ideas of my own - we need a better system of politics and we really need the Seanad to ask the hard questions.
“We also need much great public scrutiny of European legislation; the European Parliament has a lot of power, and I feel that rural Ireland is forgotten about when it comes to European legislation.
“All people want is a decent quality of life and unfortunately there is a deep psychological wound over the fact that immigration is happening all over again, so I want to listen to the people and together we can bring change.
“The political establishment has no interest in keeping young people in politics and that is another matter that needs to be discussed in public.”