Deirdre Geraghty-Smith

Political Party / Group: Fianna Fáil
Current Councillor or MEP?: No
Email: deirdregeraghtysmith@gmail.com
Phone: 0894924924
City or County Council: Meath County Council

About me

I have lived in Ratoath with my husband for 15 years and my family home is in rural Dunboyne. During this time I have played an active role in our community with the GAA, as a Director of our local Dunboyne & Ratoath Credit Union, as a weekly volunteer with St. Vincent de Paul, as youth leader and Secretary of a local youth club, as a residents’ representative on my local management company and a number of years on parades committees organising successful street festivals and parades. I contested the 2014 local elections for FF.

I have a track record of delivery – for example in 2014, working closely with Ratoath GAA, I was responsible for initiating the drafting and bringing forward of a Bill to the floor of the Dáil, to reduce commercial rates for our local GAA & voluntary clubs, which was signed into law.

As background, I have a degree in business and economics from Trinity College Dublin, a Master’s in communications from DCU and I am a business consultant by profession.

My Priorities & Ideas

I want to move away from reactionary politics and to bring proactivity to public representation in my area.

• More Garda resourcing and a full time Garda presence in our towns and villages
• Improved bus services & transport links; including park & ride facilities and shuttle bus services
• Finding solutions to the chronic parking issues our towns
• Extension of the M3 train line to Dunshaughlin as a matter of priority
• Improved broadband services in our area
• More GPs and greater access to community health & mental health facilities
• Promoting local inward investment – providing quality local jobs
• More community childcare places
• More school places and options at primary and secondary level
• Investment in facilities such as community parks, dog parks and dog bins in our towns
• Dedicated Council landbank for community recreation facilities & housing provision
• Sustainable, long-term, community-focused planning for our towns and villages

Why I am (or will be) a good politician

As a young, forward-thinking, progressive person I believe that I can relate directly to the many young families that are living in the Ratoath area. As a mortgage holder, as a commuter and user of public transport, and as a community focused resident, I have a vested interest in ensuring that the area around Ratoath, Dunshaughlin and Dunboyne develops to its best potential and that we avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. My local volunteerism, such as serving on the Board of the Credit Union and visiting families in distress with SVP, combined with my professional experience, positions me well to deliver for our area, and to be a strong champion for the issues facing residents and businesses in the Ratoath electoral district. I am the youngest candidate contesting a seat in Ratoath and I am passionate about delivering inclusive, balanced representation for our community.

Name three characteristics of a great politician

Empathy, pragmatism, fairness.

What politician or ex-politician outside Ireland do you admire and why?

I always admire those who challenge the status quo. I campaigned for Hilary Clinton in NYC for the powerful symbolism of a woman as a potential US president. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for taking on the establishment, Jacinda Ardern for her leadership.

What is the one mistake you witness politicians making more frequently than others?

Politicians who engage in overt populism or auction politics. It’s damaging to politics, the economy and society in the long run.

In politics there can be a tendency for the “system” to dampen the “inspiration.” How do you keep this from happening?

You have to always remember why you are running – this is the most important question to ask a candidate, and for a politician to remind themselves. If you stay true to your core values, you will be guided towards what inspires you.

What personal or professional achievement are you most proud of?

In 2014, as a local election candidate I was asked by GAA clubs to help them sort an issue with rates.I was responsible for the initiating and introduction of a FF Bill to the floor of the Dáil which became law and has helped countless sports clubs.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would advise myself to travel the world before taking on a mortgage

What are three words you would use to describe yourself?

Passionate, creative, committed.

Who is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party?

Constance Markievicz, Leonardo da Vinci, Barack Obama, Tom Crean, Robert de Niro

If you could have personally witnessed anything in history, what would you want to have seen?

The 1916 rising. My great grandfather was in the first battalion of the volunteers at Marrowbone Lane and was subsequently imprisoned in Frangach. I am always overawed by what those young men and women did for Irish freedom.

What is on your bucket list?

It’s a long list! As long as I can, I will always keep challenging myself, whether through continued education, more travel, or through political activism on issues that are important to me. I always have a project!

What values are most important to you?

Commitment, fairness, sincerity

How do you keep yourself motivated?

By reminding myself what matters most, such as family and friends. By looking to others who have faced difficulties, come through them and achieved great things.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?

I am constantly educating and challenging myself to consider new or better ways of doing things.

What’s on your bookshelf

Paul Murray’s An Evening of Long Goodbyes; Louise O’Neill, Donal Ryan, Sebastian Barry, John Boyne. I’m currently reading George Crile’s book Charlie Wilson’s War, which reads like fiction but is a true story about a US congressman

Name some of your favourite movies

The entire Harry Potter series, The Secret Scripture, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Who are your heroes?

Depends on the field and whether it’s sports, the everyday, political life, the arts – I’ve lots of heroes! People who go through major adversity and quietly pick themselves up and continue to work or raise their families. They are real heroes.

If you had 30 seconds in an elevator to convince someone to vote for you what would you say?

I would say to them that we all complain about various things in politics, but the only way you ever get change is to go out and vote for it. So give me a chance to be your voice and I will prove to you that I am worthy of it.