My name is Richard Cahill. I live in Sixmilebridge Co. Clare. My wife Marelen and I have 5 children between us, ranging in age from 18 to 24.
I am 49 years old and have spent more than 20 years working voluntarily in my community: I have been a PAYE worker, a self-employed entrepreneur, an employer, a business manager, a Project Manager, a community representative locally, regionally and nationally.
I am Independent. I ran for election to the European Parliament in 2014 polling in approximately 10,000 1st preference votes in Clare.
Just like you, I’m sick of the rhetoric and misinformation that has emanated from successive Dublin Biased, political party directed Governments. I propose we challenge the status quo.
###My Work in the Community
During my community development work, I have toiled to build support and services for people of all ages and from all walks of life. This included talking and listening to people about what they needed, including them in decisions and looking at their requirements including disability access, transport, training etc.
It involved being up to date on policies and procedures, rules and regulations, data protection, child protection, freedom of information, employer’s obligations, staff management and recruitment. It involved making submissions to local and national organisations and especially keeping abreast of changing legislation.
Equally my community development work included round the clock volunteering. From responding to alarms going off in the community crèche at 3 am, to standing in a river fishing plastic ducks out for fund-raising events.
It involved working with teenagers to form a drop-in teen café, coaching youngsters in under age hurling, driving Older people to their active aging club and playing bingo and cards with them, bringing children on outings to visit the fire station or pet farms, helping people fill in forms, to learn English and indeed, Irish, organising parades; the list goes on.
###My Family Life
I know what it is like to live with a learning difference; I went through school with undiagnosed dyslexia and met with challenges every day. I still do.
My son also has dyslexia and my stepson has Asperger’s syndrome. Fortunately they were both diagnosed - unlike myself. My own struggles with dyslexia made me determined to help them understand their own self worth and support them in any way I can.
I have been a stay at home Dad, a homemaker; I have been self-employed, a small business owner and a mature student. I know what it is like to have small children, teenagers, young adults and to have parents and parent in laws in their eighties.
I know what it is like to have to start over; I suffered a spinal injury following a car accident that left me with nerve damage, which meant I could no longer work in my chosen trade as an electrician.
Rather than sit around I became a community volunteer, developer and jack of all trades - voluntarily speaking!
###My Community and Voluntary work
Initially, my interests were focused on local community development From 1995 – 1999 I was a member of the neighbourhood watch committee. Through this, I began to meet people and hear what they wanted and needed. I went on to be part of a working group that whetted my appetite for community development.
In 2003, I was one of the founders of a not- for- profit cooperative society that went on to gain charitable status. The aim of the charity – The Bridge Complex – was to assist and empower the people of the community to help themselves through the provision of support, education, structures, networks and facilities. I was chairperson of this organisation until 2013.
I became a member of the Shannon Area network in 2004, and Clare Community Forum in 2005 (both Community and Voluntary representative groups).
I was elected as a delegate on the Community Fora National Representation organisation annually from 2008 – 2012 and was involved in the Community Forum Chairs national Network.
During my community and voluntary work, I have sat, as a Community and Voluntary sector representative, on a number of committees, both at local and national level.
Below is a brief overview of some of these committees: