Meet Marian: A well -known community activist in the Knocknacarra area of County Galway, Marian Maloney was involved with the Galway Visually Impaired Activities Club when she helped to organise a hustings before the last Local Elections inviting candidates to address a group of people with disabilities. She was blown area with the response- so much so in fact that she actually ended up running as an Independent candidate in the Galway City area in the 2019 Local Elections. Now three years on and with the help of See Her Elected Marian is considering running for election again in 2024.
Marian is one of 80 women currently registered in our online SHESchool workshops which help to prepare women for election through a series of workshops and practical support. A member of the Galway City Community Network, Marian felt that the linkage groups associated with the network could help give a voice to people about particular issues of concern. However, it was the turnout at the political hustings by people with a disability that gave Marian the incentive she needed to put her name on the ballot paper. “I was simply blown away by the turnout at the hustings and so many people said to me you should be running yourself. Now I think if I don’t put my name down for 2024, I will regret it. 13% of our population is made up of people with a disability yet we don’t see this reflected in the make-up of our county councillors- we need to have a voice at the table in order to see some change,” said Marian.
Sixty-eight-year-old Marian is visually impaired, but she prefers to describe herself by saying: “I’m a woman first and foremost, I don’t let my disability define me- my eyes just don’t work”. Marian and her trusty guidedog Leon are a regular sight around the Knocknacarra area of County Galway as they enjoy a daily walk. She is a woman deeply rooted in her local community and she is considering running for election again in 2024. “The last time around in 2019 I decided to run at the last minute and had a very small team around me- I’m delighted I had the courage to do it but this time around it will be different- See Her Elected will be with me. SHESchool has been brilliant- I have learned so much from the workshops and Michelle Maher from See Her Elected is so passionate. We can put so many barriers in front of ourselves but See Her Elected takes any barriers away and makes you feel that you can do it- if I do decide to run for election in 2024, See Her Elected will be there with me- I know I have that support and I am not on my own- and that’s a huge encouragement,”.
See Her Elected runs workshops on a range of issues from Introduction to Politics to a more in depth look at running for election with wealth of information with everything from organising your finance to selecting your kitchen table team and campaign manager, how to deal with the media, raising your profile, canvassing and so much more. It is important to point out that you don’t need to run for election to help make a change as you can get involved as part of a campaign team for a female candidate as there are a myriad of roles. In order to find out more about our online classes and workshops contact email@example.com or log onto www.seeherelected.ie Be the change you want to see!