Saoirse McHugh, Green Party
Growing up on Achill island, Saoirse has witnessed the disadvantages of rural life without seeing the benefits of economic growth; young people emigrating, houses left empty, farms and businesses abandoned.
As an advocate of sustainable farming she sees daily the challenges for small farmers competing within an industrial agricultural system and believes we need radical change or we could face collapse within a generation.
Having shown a keen interest in farming from a young age, Saoirse worked on various agricultural projects in Central America. After obtaining a masters in sustainable agriculture she focused her efforts on mending Ireland's production driven culture of farming.
After years of lobbying government departments through organisations such as Food Sovereignty Ireland, Seed Savers and the Organic Growers of Ireland, she had grown tired of empty promises and a government failing it's environment and it's people.
She seized an offer from the Green party to run in the European elections and has cast herself into the political spectrum.
McHugh's campaign centres on the urgent issues of climate change and biodiversity loss and she claims that if we transition quickly to a low carbon economy we have a chance to address inequalities in our society.