Cllr. Pat Kavanagh
Originally from High Street, Wicklow Town, Pat is the daughter of Tom and Phil Kavanagh, formerly of Kavanagh’s Shoe Shop in Wicklow. Pat has lived all her life in Wicklow and married local man Francis Murphy. They have two children who attended local schools. Pat is best known for her work as owner/manager of The Cave Steiner Preschool and Afterschool on High Street, where hundreds of children have availed of her care and attention for the past 11 years. Previous to this, Pat qualified with a degree in Social Care and worked as a Care Worker at St Kyran’s Residential Care Centre, Rathdrum for 10 years, and with children with disability at the School for the Blind, Merrion Road, Dublin. Pat also spent some time working in child protection with the HSE.
“Successive Governments have failed our mosts vulnerable children, in education and in health and social services. Our Constitution promises to cherish ALL our children equally, yet they are the ones who suffer most from poverty. Our children have to be our number 1 priority – they are our only hope for the future.”
Elected to Wicklow Town Council in 2009 as a Green Party candidate, Pat Kavanagh resigned from the Green Party in March 2010, having campaigned within the party to vote against NAMA and the bank bailouts. Since then, Pat has been involved in the setting up of a new federated political party, Fís Nua (New Vision) which will be Ireland’s newest registered party before the 2011 General Elections.
“Fís Nua is different to all other parties as it is a federated union for individuals, groups and organisations with a social justice, ecology and anti-corruption agenda to come together under one umbrella to get their causes and concerns on the political table. Fís Nua has no centralised leadership, but will be selecting spokespeople in the relevant departments who have an indepth knowledge and experience of their own areas. Candidates will be selected by their own constituency groups and not by anybody else. We believe that real democracy starts at the bottom level, and all of our representatives are accountable to the membership.” said Pat
Like so many others, Pat was motivated to become politically active by the ever increasing corruption and dishonesty she has witnessed in the political arena. “I am sick of it. Public servants are just that – servants of the public, and are very honoured to be elected. They should repay their voters by being honest and truthful, however difficult that may sometimes be. We don’t need any more croneyism or golden circles. When I joined Wicklow Town Council, I refused to join any voting pact. My opinion, and my vote will remain my own, it can never be bought or sold.”
Pat has a firm committment to environmental causes, as demonstrated by her re-establishment 4 years ago of the Friends Of The Murrough organisation which has campaigned for an SAAO and management plan for The Murrough in Wicklow, and her support for Wicklow Head Preservation Group. Pat is also a long term member of the Wicklow Community Resource Centre Committee, which has worked tirelessly for the restoration of the former Parochial Hall for use as a badly needed community hall and Youth Cafe. “I am delighted that after so many years of fundraising, the builders are now working on the hall and hopefully we will see the fruits of our labour in 2011″