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Meet the Candidate: Chris O’Brien – Independent

Chris lives in Carrigaline with his partner, their 2 year old son and another baby on the way.  He currently works as the manager of Carrigaline Family Support Centre where he is at the front line of service delivery in the area, supporting people with the varying challenges of daily life.

Journey to Politics:

Chris has always been interested in politics, “I thought perhaps as a community worker that eventually real change would need to be effected on a larger policy level but I certainly hadn’t planned running in the local election this year.  Over the many years of working on the ground in the area, meeting with families, hearing their issues around childcare, housing, cost of living, disability services etc., I felt now was the timeThere is such a demand for change from the same old party politics.  People want and need good community workers to put themselves forward.”

“Having discussed it with my partner in light of there being a baby on the way and seeking counsel of close friends and colleagues with an ear to the ground locally, I decided that I can either complain from the sideline or join the match!  My work brings me into regular contact with both the Executive and Elected Reps of Cork County Council so the workings of Council are familiar to me and I feel I could be an effective, efficient public representative.”

Chris O'Brien is looking for your vote


On Social Infrastructure:

“The Lower Harbour has gone through a period of significant population growth.  Carrigaline and Crosshaven have been listed as the fastest growing towns outside of Dublin on a number of occasions.  While this growth is welcome for the vibrancy and longevity of the area, there has been no concurrent expansion in the social infrastructure.  I witness the absence of these supports on the ground every day” Chris said.  If elected, Chris will advocate for additional resources to be brought to our communities to support both our youth and our elderly.  “I will advocate for the designation of a Family Resource Centre in the area.  I will advocate for significant investment in early intervention, education and preventative initiatives to help alleviate many of the issues people deal with in the area.  I will make priorities of that which has been ignored for far too long.”


On the housing crisis:

The housing crisis is a priority for Chris. “The Government failed when they allowed house building to be privatised decades ago.  We have been walked into the current crisis by a succession of representatives.  Housing is the number one issue for so many and there are thousands of people just about managing to afford rental properties with no hope of ever saving for a mortgage.  The Council should actively be looking at reassessing income levels for tenant purchase schemes. They need to prioritise the identification of both appropriate landbanks for building, and existing derelict properties which can be turned around quickly.  Fourteen thousand homeless people including four thousand children is a national shame and a drastic overhaul of planning laws, Approved Housing Bodies, derelict sites and downsizing arrangements must be expedited both nationally and locally”.


On why people should vote for me:

Chris hopes that when people look at him and see the team of supporters helping him, they see honest, hardworking community people who are all tired of the status quo and party politics not serving the average person.  “They will see someone who is on the ground doing the work and they will identify with that need for change in our approach to local government”

“Each and every day I have been working for the people of the area, expanding much needed therapeutic services, bringing additional funding and resources to the area, increasing the offerings on the social and health sphere for older people and constantly advocating for increased funding locally.

“The Lower Harbour area has had three senior politicians representing it for decades, along with a Council dominated by both major Government parties.  Despite this, the area has been experiencing social deprivation.  The priorities of Government party candidates simply don’t align with the priorities of local people.  We need community workers, normal people who know the ups and downs of daily life, to be elected to Council to advocate for us.  We need candidates who understand the needs in the community.  I believe I am that person”


Chris remains an active community worker during the campaign and you can contact him on

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