Breda Cahill to contest General Election as an Independent
Returned emigrant Breda Cahill has thrown her hat into the ring for the forthcoming general election.
Breda (53), from Ballybrittas in Bree, returned home to Ireland three years ago with her son Brendan, having moved to America when she was just 23.
Breda, who previously ran for election to Wexford County Council some 33 years ago, is joining the race as an Independent and has strong views about the state of the country and the government as a whole.
'Since I returned here I have to say I've been absolutely appalled about how bad things are here and the lack of leadership. I have a 16 year old son and I don't want him to be forced to emigrate. I had to emigrate myself and I realised that I have absolutely no hope that this government will do anything for the next generation. Their biggest worry is re-election.
'I don't want to put my child's future or the future of any child of the next generation in their hands. I just don't trust them to fix what's broken.
Breda, who graduated in law from Waterford Institute of Technology and earned a diploma in Social Studies from St Patrick's College, Maynooth, before she emigrated to New York in 1985, said that she had returned home with her son to be with her mother, Anna.
She said the transition to getting used to live in Bree was 'very difficult' at first, having been used to the bright lights and hustle and bustle of New York but said it was largely because of the state of the nation rather than the calm of the countryside.
'It was very difficult at first. There was so much negatively when I came back here. It was like the spirit of the whole country had been crushed. I was coming from a place where if you wanted something you made it happen and here there was a certain amount of complacency and people just seem to have given up. They seem to be thinking that nothing can be done and I found that heartbreaking and frustrating.'
While in America Breda set up several businesses in the hospitality and catering business and she is former vice-president of the Irish Business organisation of New York. She was president of the Wexford Association of New York for many years before handing over to another Wexford exile, lawyer John O. Murphy, a native of Ramsgrange, last month.
She said when she returned home she was worried about her son Brendan (16) settling in to life in Bree but said he took to life in Ireland like a duck to water. Fortunately the Cahill's had been frequent visitors to Ireland over the years and they had also been heavily involved with Irish life and Irish culture in New York.
Retired now since her return to Ireland Breda said her number one priority if elected is 'to fix what's broken'. She said: 'Let's be leaders in the true sense of the word. We need to lead by actions.'
An advocate of social justice, Breda said the rights of the people are crucial and said it is these, not re-election, that should be first and foremost in politician's minds.
'We must be thinking of the next generation and not the next election. Hopefully I will fill a void in public life in Ireland, if elected,' said Breda.
'My decision to be an Independent candidate rests on the fact that I have always led, not followed and I cannot have my fight for truth, justice, reform and accountability in any way constrained by the self-interests of a political party.'