Labour's candidate in East Meath, Annie Hoey.
She cut her political teeth in student politics and went on to play a major role in several of the national campaigns that have transformed Ireland in recent years, now Beamore native Annie Hoey is to seek a seat for the Labour Party in the East Meath area in May’s Council elections.
The daughter of Raymond and Elizabeth (nee McCormac – originally from Piltown), Annie has two sisters, Sarah and Emma.
Aged 30, Annie led 345,000 students as President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) in 2016-2017, campaigning successfully to increase the maintenance grant and halt increases to student fees.
An experienced campaigner, Annie was at the forefront of many of the recent national campaigns that have transformed Ireland.
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In 2018 Hoey played a key role in the campaign to repeal the 8th amendment as the National Canvassing Co-Ordinator for Together for Yes.
She also worked at a senior level in the campaign to re-elect Michael D. Higgins, serving as Director of Volunteers for the successful grassroots campaign.
Outlining her priorities for the area, she said: “I studied and worked in Cork and Dublin for a number of years and my fiancé Dan and I hope to buy a home and start a family here in East Meath. I love the community I am from but it can do better.
“My track record of activism and campaigning for change demonstrates that I know how to get things done.
“Young people like me are struggling to buy a home in the area and too many are trapped by unaffordable rents.
“The Laytown-Bettystown area has been waiting too long for its new primary health care centre, for a modern public library and other important services.
“Childcare is prohibitively expensive and childcare workers do not have the pay and conditions their skills demand.
“Commuting costs to Dublin are outrageous and I intend to run a ‘Fair Fares’ campaign to deliver more affordable transport for commuters from Laytown and from the Drogheda area.”
Annie added: “This campaign is about the fight for our future. It is about delivering the kinds of high quality public services a heavily populated area like East Meath should take for granted.
“I want to see the new Educate Together second level school built as a matter of urgency. I want to see an urgent focus on public and affordable homes and I will campaign for an enterprise hub in Laytown-Bettystown and co-working space to reduce unsustainable commuting levels and promote a better work-life balance.
“As a proud former member of Droichead Youth Theatre, I can see a clear need for an arts and performance space in East Meath to give young people the opportunity to experience the arts.”
“The 2019 local election can be a turning point for the area and for my generation and I am very much looking forward to the campaign.”
Senator Ged Nash said: “I have worked closely with Annie over the last few years, particularly on the campaign to increase the National Minimum Wage and to move to a real Living Wage for all working people.
“Nobody has worked harder in recent years to make Ireland a more open, inclusive, tolerant and compassionate place.
“She is the voice of a new generation and a talented and natural representative of people.
“Annie’s election to Meath County Council would represent a sea-change in terms of politics and activism in Meath and we will be working hard over the next few weeks to make that change happen.”