Independent Left is a new grouping of community activists and socialists: workers, students, parents, older and younger alike, who believe that it is possible to create an alternative to a way of thinking and operating which sees privatisation and austerity as the norm.
Formed in January 2019 to contest the local government elections, we subsequently decided to continue the project of creating a new Irish socialist movement, united by a global vision, articulated here.
We believe in the need to create a ‘Liveable City’, cities that prioritises the people and their needs. We need a local government that builds public and affordable housing, uses public spaces and recreational amenities as the beating heart of our communities.
A city that has an affordable and efficient public transport system, while also catering for cyclists and their safety. A city that reduces congestion and emissions.
Local government has a big role to play in halting the effects of climate change but these changes can only come from political pressure both in the council chamber and from people becoming vocal and organised in our communities.
A Liveable City is a vision that begins at a grassroots community level, while being implemented by local government and beyond, it is a vision that is inclusive of everyone in our community and welcomes those looking to make Dublin their home from near or far and for those seeking refuge.
A Liveable City is not a radical vision, but is, in fact common sense, it seeks to ensure that Dublin and all its people can live, work, grow, play and learn in a secure healthy sustainable and inclusive environment.
In the short-term Independent Left had an impact in the local government elections 24 May. In the medium-to-longer-term we hope to play our part in the creation of a more inclusive, respectful, honest, trustworthy and united Left in Ireland. There will be opportunities in the times ahead for the left to rise to the challenge of creating a movement capable of really changing Irish society for the better.
We are genuinely interested in working with anyone who believes that Ireland, and indeed the world, is in need of radical change: the threat of climate change, and the income and wealth inequalities at present are so stark that a tiny rich elite live insulated lives of luxury whilst the rest of us struggle to make ends meet.
Our Independent Left group is open to all: we are currently developing policy papers on a range of voter issues such as a local climate change action plan, child care, sewage treatment plants, housing for the homeless and Dublin joyriders (including those on scramblers and quad bikes in local parks). We have a vision for Local Government called the Liveable City. There has been a lot of interest in our new project so these are exciting times.
If you are interested in getting involved with our new group, send us a message.
Dublin Bay North candidates at the 2019 local elections:
Councillor John Lyons for Artane/Whitehall LEA
Elected to the Beaumont-Donaghmede local electoral area in 2014, Cllr John Lyons won the third seat in the Local Elections on 24 May 2019 as an Independent Left candidate in the new constituency of Artane-Whiltehall. As John explained in his campaign: ‘I have been involved in community activism for more than ten years, have represented the people of Beaumont-Donaghmede over the past five years as a Dublin City Councillor and now look forward to meeting with the people of the people of Artane, Beaumont, Clonshaugh, Coolock, Darndale, Kilmore West, Santry and Whitehall as I run for re-election and beyond.
‘My family have lived on Lorcan Road for more than fifty years, my education began with Larkhill BNS and St Aidan’s CBS, and my football career began (and ended) with St Kevin’s Boys FC and Whitehall Colmchille.
‘I believe we have a democratic deficit at local government level in the city: too much decision-making power rests with the unelected city council officials and not enough with the elected representatives of the people of Dublin.’
Councillor John Lyons speaking at DCU on how the Dublin City Manager ignores elected councillors in favour of developers.
‘A lack of real engagement and consultation with and in communities by Dublin City Council, as well as the diminished quality of council services as a result of a decade of budget and staff cuts, has resulted in many people being frustrated by Dublin City Council.
‘I do believe, however, that Dublin City Council, if properly funded and fully engaged, could have a hugely positive impact upon the lives of people in their communities, from improved street sweeping, tree-pruning, street and light maintenance, to the upkeep of children’s playgrounds, better access to and increased safety of public parks, to a wider availability of community meeting spaces and sports facilities, as well as addressing the biggest problem facing many families, couples and individuals in the city, the provision of public and affordable housing.
‘The people of Dublin deserve nothing but the best when it comes to the public services provided by their city council. And if re-elected, I promise to work with you to make this happen.’
Niamh McDonald for Donaghmede LEA
Niamh McDonald ran for Independent Left in the local elections of 24 May in the Donaghmede constituency and polled nearly 600 first preferences. Here is what she said in her campaign:
‘I am running to be your councillor in the Donaghmede local election area on 24 May 2019. I am a single parent to a young boy, I understand what it is to struggle on a daily basis. I believe I can bring the voice of the ordinary person to the council chamber.
‘Local councillors make crucial decisions that affect the lives of local communities, however our council doesn’t represent the diversity of people that make up our city. Most elected representatives are self-employed, over 45 and male. Young people, women and salaried employees are under-represented on local councils.
‘I had the honour of being elected chair of the Dublin Bay North Repeal Campaign, which achieved one of the highest YES votes (74.69%) in the country. As a socialist activist and grassroots campaigner over a decade, I have organised campaigns against the property tax and water charges. I was chair of the Save Moore Street 2016 Campaign. And I have been involved in various campaigns including helping coordinate the Apollo House Occupation.’
Niamh McDonald, Independent Left candidate giving her support to the recent nurses’ strike.