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

Government must follow Australia’s lead by apologising to Thalidomide survivors

Ireland must follow the example set by Australia by issuing an official State apology to Thalidomide survivors, according to Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns. Deputy Cairns, who is the party’s spokesperson on disability, said: “The national apology given by Australia’s Prime Minister this week is a welcome recognition of the decades of suffering experienced by […]

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Independent East Cork councillor to join Social Democrats

East Cork Independent councillor Liam Quaide has announced that he is to join the Social Democrats. Mr Quaide, who is a clinical psychologist, led a campaign in East Cork over the past two years against the closure of the Owenacurra Centre mental health service. Following seven Oireachtas Committee hearings and Mr Quaide’s meeting with HSE […]

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Former Independent councillor co-opted to South Dublin County Council by Social Democrats

Justin Sinnott has been announced as the Social Democrats’ new councillor on South Dublin County Council. At a meeting of the council this week, Justin was co-opted to the seat vacated by Carly Bailey, who is stepping back from representative politics but will remain working with the Social Democrats. Speaking after the meeting, Justin said: […]

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