Festivals and fetes

After the Darkness into Light event at Marlay Park it was a couple of hours rest and then off to meet Aideen Carberry at Knocklyon Shopping Centre. I’m heartened by the number of times people tell me they remember my time as a local councillor and TD (in a good way!). When the Dail constituency boundaries were adjusted in 2013, Rathfarnham, Knocklyon and Ballyboden were moved to Dublin South-West. It was a big loss for me, and a significant factor in my failure in 2016 to retain the seat I had won for Labour in 2011. Now I am campaigning again on this familiar ground and really hopeful that the goodwill shown will translate into votes. If today is anything to go by, I think it will, but we have a way to go.

From Knocklyon we were off to Tallaght with Aideen and her team for the launch of Tallafest. This is an annual festival that goes from strength to strength. It was lovely to meet Jim Lawlor, Life President of Tallaght Community Council, as well as many other local volunteers. From Tallaght then to Kilternan for the Parish Fete, a tasty hot dog, and good vibes with Lettie McCarthy, our incredibly energetic local councillor for Glencullen, who was accompanied by her actual dog, Homer! Back across then to Rathfarnham for the Whitchurch Parish Fete. There we ran in to Canon Horace McKinley. I love meeting Horace and we always have a stimulating conversation. Like me, he is a really committed European. He is worried about the rise of the far right, and about what history tells us when democratic values are undermined. He told me about a recent piece he has written on the German theologian and ant-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which I look forward to reading. Indoors then for tea and cake – always a pleasure.

Two further stops North of the Liffey. Firstly, a pitstop at the Sustainable Living Festival at the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. The gardens are truly beautiful this time of year. I finished the day with Marie Sherlock (“you are the lady who is on the TV”) and her brilliant team.  We did a canvass on and around the Navan Road, finishing up in time to watch Leinster go down, sadly, to defeat in Newcastle.

Quote of the day: A crie de couer from candidate Aideen Carberry:  “I’d love a hot dinner!”