By Ronan Dodd
Former North Tipperary senator Kathleen O’Meara is to seek the Labour Party nomination to contest this autumn’s presidential election.
She wrote to the party’s TDs, senators and executive board members two weeks ago when the process formally opened, asking to be considered as a candidate. The party is scheduled to select its candidate on June 19.
Ms O’Meara, 51, who hails from near Shinrone, but who lives in Nenagh, has said that she will be campaigning on community, how we care for each other, where we stand up for each other and social justice so that no one is left behind.
“This presidential election is taking place during one of the most difficult and challenging times in this nations history, but also at a time when many citizens are asking who we are as a nation, what are our values, what do we cherish and who do we need to be to build our nation again.
“I want to build a project, a national engagement, a conversation which would take place in every community in Ireland, asking those questions and hearing from the people themselves about who they want us, Ireland, to be. This engagement would be the way that we could reconnect with our true selves as a nation, and build a new vision, together; a vision which would be given expression in a new Proclamation, to be declared in 2016, the centenary of the first Proclamation. This would be a new Proclamation for a new nation.
“The first Proclamation was ambitious and inspiring, but there are many ways we did not live up to it. We did not cherish all the children of the nation equally, for instance, and still don’t. And we have had to concede sovereignty in the face of a financial failure, in order to survive and continue to exist.
“Amidst the wreckage we are now in, is an opportunity to start again, to preserve the best of what we have created and build a new vision to take this nation forward. The theme of the next presidency, under my leadership, would be Building the Nation. This is why I am seeking this nomination,” she said at the launch of her campaign this Monday.
Ms O’Meara, a former RTE journalist, served in the Seanad for 10 years and ran for the Dail three times in North Tipperary. She worked as a ministerial adviser to Eithne Fitzgerald. She is head of advocacy and communications at the Irish Cancer Society.
While she works in Dublin, Ms O’Meara’s home is in Nenagh with her daughter, Fiona, 18. Her son, Mark, 27, lives in Australia.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.