Tommy Roddy, who ran in last year's local elections, will stand as an Independent candidate in Galway West at the General Election, campaigning on water charges, better supports for the unemployed, and issues relating to mental health and suicide prevention.
Mr Roddy is calling for "an immediate cessation to the installation of water meters", saying the money used to install them should instead have gone first to upgrading the water network. While he admits he is "not against the principle of water charges", he has described Irish Water as "a disaster from the start" which "seems to stumble from one crisis to the next". He is also calling for a referendum to ensure Irish Water or any replacement water body will always remain in public ownership.
Mr Roddy's campaign will also seek to highlight the "under-investment in the mental health services". He is calling for a "total review of psychiatric services", saying those experiencing mental distress "need to be offered alternative therapies as opposed to the traditional bio-medical models" which rely almost exclusively on medication and are "a maintenance type treatment as opposed to offering any solutions to people's difficulties".
He is also calling for greater investment in therapies/educational programmes for young people in the area of mental health, "many of which are currently left up to the voluntary sector"; greater support for those who wish to get back into the workforce; and for a serious engagement in the homelessness and accommodation crisis, in order to provide a lasting solution to the issue.
"A long time community activist, Mr Roddy volunteers with Youth Work Ireland with shOUT! LGBT Youth Project. He also facilitates delivering mental health modules to transition year students; is the PRO for ALâ Community Theatre; and is involved with Fr Griffin’s/Éire Óg GAA Club and St Patrick’s Scout Group.