Meet Holly

Holly Cairns is Leader of the Social Democrats and a TD for Cork South-West.

At 33, Holly is the youngest party leader in the Dáil. Like so many of her generation, Holly was forced to emigrate after the financial crash. She worked in disability services abroad before moving home to take on her family farm and business.

After campaigning locally to Repeal the 8th Amendment, Holly stood in the 2019 local elections. She won a seat on Cork County Council by a single vote and in 2020, she was elected as a TD.

Holly is an outspoken and passionate contributor to Dáil debates, from holding the government to account for locking an entire generation out of home ownership, to fighting for fairer compensation for survivors of mother and baby homes.

A farmer and an environmentalist, Holly is a firm believer in the need to diversify our agricultural sector in order to protect our biodiversity, improve our food security and secure a profitable future for Irish farming.

To the people out there who think, “There’s no point in voting”, “They’re all the same” and, “Nothing’s going to change”. I look forward to meeting you. I look forward to listening to you. I look forward to changing Ireland for the better, together.

Holly’s Priorities

  • Take meaningful climate action underpinned by Just Transition principles.
  • Radically increase the delivery of social and affordable housing.
  • Ensure a sustainable, profitable future for the farming sector.
  • Ratify the Optional Protocol of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • Ensure the full implementation of Sláintecare.

Latest News

RTÉ’s Spectacular U-Turn On TV Debates Highlights Unfairness Of Exclusion Of Soc Dems Candidates

In light of RTÉ’s own spectacular u-turn, the Social Democrats have again written to RTÉ to reiterate our request that our Ireland South candidate Susan Doyle be allowed to participate in the upcoming tv debate RTÉ’s decision to change the qualifying criteria for its tv debate for Limerick’s directly elected mayor means there is no […]

Read more

Cairns welcomes recognition of the State of Palestine

Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns has warmly welcomed the Government’s decision to recognise the State of Palestine but called for further pressure on Israel to end the carnage in Gaza. “The Social Democrats have long called for the Government to match its strong words of condemnation with action – and this is a historic move […]

Read more

Cairns welcomes decision by ICC to seek arrest warrants for top Israeli and Hamas leadership

Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns has welcomed the decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to seek arrest warrants for top Israeli and Hamas leadership. “Charges against Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant include causing extermination, causing starvation as a method of war – including the denial of humanitarian relief supplies – and […]

Read more