The Social Democrats are pleased to announce that South Dublin County Councillor Dermot Looney has joined the party.
Councillor Looney (34) was first elected to South Dublin County Council in 2009. He was re-elected for the Templeogue-Terenure ward as an Independent in 2014. He is from Greenhills, Dublin 12 and works as a primary school teacher in St Dominic’s NS, Tallaght.
Announcing the move, the party’s co-leaders Catherine Murphy TD and Roísín Shortall TD said:
“We’re delighted to welcome Dermot to the Social Democrats. He has been an energetic campaigner for community-led planning and development and has stood up for local public services and principled politics.
“Thanks to his efforts, South Dublin County Council is the first local authority to get citizens involved in deciding how to spend part of its annual budget – this gives real power to people to allocate funds to improve their communities.
“Dermot will bring great experience and commitment to our Dublin South West branch. Along with our party colleagues, we very much look forward to working with him in growing the Social Democrats movement as a dynamic force for change in Irish society.”
Commenting on his move, Councillor Looney said:
“I came into representative politics through the kind of activism that still drives me today – community issues, public services, equality and peace. I have been hugely impressed by the work of Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall in the Dáil, along with Social Democrats councillors, in championing those ideas.
“The Social Democrats are an exciting new force on the left in Irish politics. I have been enthused by the energy and activism of their members in challenging the status quo and standing for a fairer, more decent society. At a time of change in politics both nationally and internationally, I am looking forward to campaigning with the Social Democrats to advance the kind of policies we need in our local community and across the country.”
With Dermot joining the party, the Social Democrats now have five elected councillors representing areas of Dublin city and county as well as Fingal, Co. Wicklow, and Co. Cork.
6 June 2017
Notes to Editors:
Dermot Looney was first elected to South Dublin County Council (SDCC) in 2009. He was re-elected for the Templeogue-Terenure ward as an Independent in 2014, topping the poll with 2,826 first preferences, or 1.18 quotas. He served as Mayor of South Dublin County Council from 2013-14.
Dermot has a wide range of experience as a local public representative. He has been vocal on the need for more social housing in the county and on the need to protect private rented tenants through inspections and rent controls. He has been a prominent voice in defending housing grants for the elderly and disabled, and has stood up for local public services including parks, transport, health, transport, Gaeilge, arts and heritage.
Among his recent achievements on South Dublin County Council was the adoption, for the first time in Irish local government history, of Participatory Budgeting, on his proposal. This resulted in the €300K – Have Your Say scheme.
On the Council, Dermot has championed the SDCC library service, recently winning a motion on the Council opposing staffless libraries. He also helped design the Community Initiative Fund scheme for local community groups, which awards €250,000 each year, and was involved in the local Playspace programme in SDCC.
Dermot led a campaign on the Council to publish all councillor expenses and remuneration, and publishes his own expenses online each year. As Mayor, he cut his pay by €7,000 and established the Mayor’s Fund which awarded grants to 50 community groups across the county.
Dermot attended school locally in St Peter’s BNS and Greenhills College. He has a degree in Social Science (Social Policy and Politics with Sociology) from UCD and a Higher Diploma in Primary Education from Hibernia College. He has worked as a primary teacher for the last eight years in St Dominic’s NS, Tallaght. Mr Looney is a patron member of St Patrick’s Athletic FC and a qualified football coach.
You can follow Dermot on Twitter @dlooney and on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/VoteDermotLooney
8 June 2017