Julie O'Donoghue, a 35-year-old schoolteacher, and founder member of both Plastic Free Roscommon and Athlone Extinction Rebellion, has been chosen as the Green Party candidate for Galway-Roscommon.
The Galway line-up for the next General Election is now Cllr Pauline O'Reilly (Galway West ) and Julie O'Donoghue (Galway-Roscommon ). A candidate for Galway East has yet to be announced.
Ms O'Donoghue has served on the National Committee of the charity Friends Of Breastfeeding, and organises its peer support group in Roscommon for parents and children. She also campaigned with Roscommon Together for Yes.
Speaking after her selection as a general election candidate, she said: "Politics was never part of my plan but I have come to the realisation that, in order to effect change, you need to be where policy and legislation is made. I joined the Green Party for their environmental policies and progressive values”.
'The science is clear – we need to change and we must ensure that the change is fair to everyone'
She said her campaign would focus on the environment, housing, health, education, childcare, and insurance costs. "I value social equality and believe our economy needs to be people-centred to ensure a good quality of life for everyone," she said.
Ms O'Donoghue has called climate change and the biodiversity emergency "the defining issue of our time". She said it was "no longer an issue that will impact future generations" but was "a serious threat to the futures of our children and grandchildren".
She said: "The science is clear – we need to change and we must ensure that the change is fair to everyone. Too many politicians are pushing a false 'rural Ireland versus the environment' narrative. We need to invest in environmental actions that will protect workers and will bring benefits for farmers, rural economies, and communities."