Holly Cairns: “The reason people like me are getting into politics is because we feel disilusioned”

Holly Cairns Pic: Lili Forbeg for VIP Magazine

In March of this year, Holly Cairns became the youngest-ever female leader of a political party in Ireland when she was appointed head of the Social Democrats.

This Social Democrats party spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Rural Development, Social Justice and Disability,
is 33 years old.

However, when VIP Magazine catches up with Holly she reveals that her move into politics was more of an accidental step.

Disillusioned with politics she joined the referendum campaign for Marriage Equality in 2015 “because I could see first-hand how it was affecting people”.

Holly Cairns Pic: Lili Forbeg for VIP Magazine

She quickly realised that if she wanted change, she needed to be part of it.

As we chat to her for our April issue, she admits that people laughed at her when she decided to run for local election in West Cork in 2019. But four years later she is leading the party.

In fact, she never thought that she would run for government at all.

“But I think if it’s something I’m motivated by I can really apply myself. To give you an example: a parent of a child with a profound disability comes into our constituency office and they are at the end of their tether trying to get basic services; you learn really quickly then what’s not there and what needs to be there,” she admits.

To read our full chat with Holly pick up the April issue of VIP Magazine on shelves now


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