Audrey Fergus is a first time General Election candidate running in Louth for People Before Profit. Audrey is a 53-year-old Dundalk native, with two children and and two grandchildren. Audrey has been a community activist and volunteer almost four decades.
Audrey, who resides on the Point Road and works as a magazine writer and a researcher, previously worked on the campaign of Garrett Weldon, People Before Profit’s last candidate in Louth in 2016. When Garrett Weldon announced he was not running in 2020, Audrey was asked to run in his place.
Editor’s Note: All candidates running in the Louth constituency received the same questions.
/ What would you describe as your personal ‘signature’ issue in this election?
We need to share the wealth and properly fund public services; the four main ones being Health, Housing, Transport and Education.
/ Why should someone vote for you/your party?
We are the only party which has a realistic, achievable and fully costed plan to get this country on the right track, which will be good for everyone.
/ Whether you are a new candidate or seeking re-election, what drove you to stand for public office?
I’ve been an activist for almost 40 years now, banging the drum for various social and political issues. So when I was asked to go forward as a candidate I thought OK, lets try and bring these causes that I’m so so passionate about somewhere I can really make a difference.
/ What, in your opinion, is the most pressing issue in the Louth constituency?
Crime, the drug gang violence. Did we really think we’d escape this given the austerity, lack of public services and dysfunctional drug laws/policies? It happened in other countries decades ago, we’ve binged watched dramas showing exactly how this plays out so it’s time to tackle it head on. Share the wealth, provide proper services and change our attitudes and policies on drugs.
/ Do you believe that society works for all? Explain your answer and if not, how do you propose to change that?
No, it most certainly does not work for all. There is a huge gap between the rich and poor in this country and this leads to very different outcomes in people’s overall life chances. It must be addressed by a fairer tax system so we have the money to properly fund the basics such as education, housing and health.
/ What message would you give people who feel alienated by the political system and who do not intend to cast a vote on February 8?
I know it’s a cliche to say, but don’t lose hope. There are more and more people fighting to make real changes that will lift everyone up. In our plan no one will be left behind, everyone will be cherished and have the chance to reach their full potential. Vote and help make this happen.
/ The gap between the richest people in society and the poorest continues to grow. How can this society be made more equitable?
As above, share the wealth and resources, provide proper public services and maybe reduce the working week. If we worked say four days and fewer hours a day, we’d need more people employed as the work still has to be done. Imagine all those extra people feeling good with a few days of manageable productivity and more time to spend with family and doing the things they love.
/ If you get elected, what one aim would you like to achieve in your first 100 days in Dail Eireann?
Abolish the USC for workers earning under €90,000 a year and make a start on shaking up the tax system.
/ What, in your opinion, gives you the edge over your fellow candidates in this election?
I have a broad understanding and experience of working with various campaigns and disadvantaged groups. Being involved with Solidarity-People Before Profit has helped me understand what really needs to be done and how to change things so everyone benefits.
/ Who is your hero, and why?
Both of my Grandmothers. Both had large families, 12 and 13 children. Lived in small houses and reared them well, none of them sick nor sore. I can only ever aspire to be the great women they were and to be like all the great women of their time.
/ What do you do to relax?
I walk with dogs, up mountains, in parks and on beaches.
/ What’s your favourite song and why?
Husker Du, New Day Rising. The song gets rid of all my darkness and tensions and gives me hope.
/ What’s your TV guilty pleasure?
I hardly watch any TV programmes at all, but at least once a year, all my Alien DVDs are lined up and I binge them.