Wednesday 26 June 2019

'Because of the Leaving Cert, there's been very little time for canvassing'

The green teen: Catriona Reid (19) Green Party, Carrigaline, Co Cork

Leaving Cert student and Green Party local election candidate Caitriona Reid in Carrigaline, Co. Cork
Leaving Cert student and Green Party local election candidate Caitriona Reid in Carrigaline, Co. Cork

Catriona was born in Romania to a Romanian mother and Scottish father. She moved to Cork at five and is in school in Crosshaven. She will sit the Leaving Cert next month.

Because of the Leaving Cert, there's been very little time for canvassing, but I've been trying to get my message out as best I can. Right now, I'm split between doing government and political science or applied psychology in UCC. I like the idea of travelling but for now I'm going to stay in Cork..

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I have been involved with the Greens since I was 15, but I've only been an official member since I was 17. I knew I was environmentally leaning from an early age. I really do feel that climate change and global warming is the number one issue and, for me, the Greens were the only party that properly addressed the issue of climate change and had a strong environmental policy.

I have friends who are the same age as me and if their parents didn't teach them recycling and environmental issue, they won't carry it into their daily lives. We have an awareness issue around environmental issue in this country and, unfortunately, Ireland has a terrible record.

This government have done very little to address the issue - they're not dealing with it at all. Even when they say they will address it, I don't believe them any more.

Greta Thunberg has become quite a big inspiration for me. She embodies the image of my generation. We've grown up with the global warming rhetoric. For pretty much every year of my life, they've reached a record summer temperature. There's been that constant message about global warming and I picked it up at an early age. I remember the DVD of Finding Nemo - there was a special feature on it about global warming and that really resonated with me as a child.

Dublin [party activists] are fantastic in supporting their candidates - any help you'll need, they'll help you. But it is a small party.

It can be tough to look to the future as a young person. The dream is to move out when you're young, find someone to settle down with, have a dog and a car - but it's so bad that many of them won't have that, or not until later in life. It comes down to a lack of social and private housing.

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