Leading Trinity activist Conor Reddy elected to Dublin City Council

Reddy received 1,249 first-preference votes, the third-highest share of any candidate in the area

President of the Postgraduate Workers’ Organisation (PWO) and longtime College-based activist Conor Reddy has been elected to Dublin City Council for Ballymun-Finglas.

Reddy, a PhD researcher in Trinity’s School of Medicine, was elected as a People Before Profit-Solidarity representative this evening on the 12th count having received 1,249 first-preference votes.

Speaking to Trinity News, Reddy said he was “delighted to have made such a breakthrough” in the Ballymun-Finglas electoral area.

Reddy received the third-highest vote share of any candidate in the area, defeating candidates from Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin to win the seat.

He said that the election represented “a vote of despair” among much of the electorate, highlighting the rise in votes for “far-right, racist” candidates.

“The area needs change badly,” Reddy added. “We had one of the lowest turnouts in the country, one of the highest amounts of spoiled votes, and you have to look at the reasons why – there’s a huge housing need in Ballymun-Finglas, one in four homeless people in Dublin are from Ballymun.”

“The area’s been neglected, it’s been left behind, and people are furious about that.”

Reddy, who is from Finglas, has served as president of the PWO since its founding as a merger between two postgraduate unions.

He represented protestors in negotiations with College during the Trinity Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) encampment last month, having originally led the campaign for TCDSU to adopt BDS as an official policy as an undergraduate back in 2018.

Reflecting on the success of his election campaign, Reddy said “we’ve been relentless with campaigning on the ground, on housing, council dereliction and vacancy, and council maintenance.”

“This is only a start,” Reddy added optimistically. “That platform that we’ve got now will be used to build people-powered campaigns going forward and hopefully to pull people out of the swamp of despair and give people hope again.”

Reddy has been a longtime activist in Trinity, having also been involved with the Take Back Trinity campaign against supplemental exam fees in 2018, and was arrested for occupying a house on North Frederick Street as part of the Take Back the City campaign.

Reddy spent a night in hospital after being released from custody and required treatment for injuries allegedly inflicted by Gardaí during his arrest.

The following year Reddy founded Cut the Rent TCD, advocating for a rent strike in Trinity-owned accommodation. Reddy was also a founding member of SciSoc, the science society, in 2016.

David Wolfe

David Wolfe is a Junior Sophister student of History and Political Science. He is the current Social Media and Managing Editor of Trinity News, having previously served as News Editor, Assistant News Editor and copyeditor.