Wednesday 22 May 2019

'I was inspired to get into politics after Savita's death' - meet one of Ireland's youngest candidates (19) entering the local election race

Carah Daniel pictured in Balbriggan, where she is running in the local elections.
Carah Daniel pictured in Balbriggan, where she is running in the local elections.
Carah Daniel's election poster
Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

AS local election candidates begin to erect posters across the country this week, one woman hoping to make a mark in her town is 19-year-old Carah Daniel.

When Savita Halappanavar died from sepsis at Galway University Hospital in October 2012 after being refused a termination, Ms Daniel was only 13 years old, but it sparked a need in her to enter the political race.

She reached out to the Socialist party and began getting involved as much as she could, before deciding to run for the 2019 local elections - making her one of the youngest candidates this year.

"Savita's death was a huge issue for me. I was also an animal rights activist in the Skerries area. I got involved with the Socialists and realised that their values matched mine," Ms Daniel told Independent.ie.

"When I was younger, people my age weren't interested in politics. Nowadays everyone is, and they're interested from everything from the repeal movement to the housing crisis."

Originally from Stamullen in Co Meath, Ms Daniel is hoping to get the public vote for Fingal Solidarity in the Balbriggan ward this May.

She was one of the founders of Balbriggan-based animal rights group, Not For Your Entertainment, and worked with Solidarity TD Paul Murphy on the introduction of the Prohibition of Wild Animals in Circuses Bill in 2017.

Her local election campaign is youth-centred, gathering support from college students and other teenagers.

"We're trying to get young people involved in politics. Many people saw repeal and got into and saw the purpose of it.

"But for local elections, there has never been as much interest. We’re channeling that anger that people felt through repeal, to get people involved.

"We've even had people that are too young to vote reach out because they want to help with canvassing and putting up posters."

If elected, Ms Daniel said that climate change is one of the biggest topics on her agenda.

"Climate change is really big issue, we’ve been organising with the national strikes in Dublin as well as ones here in Balbriggan. I want to concretely put forward socialist policies in the council, for things such as sustainable energy and food."

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