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Eoin Barry Bio

I grew up on a small dairy farm in Wolfhill in county Laois and went to school in Newtown NS and the Presentation College Carlow. After school, I completed a degree in Social Care in Athlone IT and after this degree, I worked in the area of Intellectual Disability with St Michaels House.

 Following this, I worked as a youth worker in Graiguecullen and completed a Masters Degree in Criminology and Social Policy with the Open University before completing a Masters in Social Work in Trinity. When I completed my Social Work training I worked with young people that had left state care with Focus Ireland. 

I then moved into the area of Child and Adolescent Mental Health and I have worked in this area for the last 8 years. Last year I completed my training in Systemic Psychotherapy at UCD. I am the chairperson of the Irish Association of Social Workers special interest group in CAMHS. Through my role as Chairperson, I have advocated for reformed Mental Health Services. 

Alongside my clinical work, I have been active in politics and campaigning throughout my adult life. I served for three years on the Labour Party Executive, I ran in the 2019 Local Elections in County Laois and I’m currently a Labour Party area representative in Laois. I campaigning for both repeal of the 8th amendment and marriage equality and I have campaigned for the rights of Transgender people. 

While there is understandable cynicism about politics I continue to believe that it is a space in which we can make positive and lasting systemic change. I believe in Ireland the upper house provides the space to focus on longer-term problems and meaningful change.

In this campaign my policy focus will be on supporting our front line health care workers, improving mental health services and tackling the cost of living crisis. 

For front line health care workers the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt. They need better pay and conditions and a renewed focus on recruitment and retention. 

In mental health services, we need significant reform to ensure a variety of talk therapies are available throughout the country. We need to ensure that anyone that seeks support for their mental health can access support. We need new and expanded programmes to support people with eating disorders including access to appropriate therapies and new clinical programmes for people with ARFID.

The rise in the cost of living combined with the housing crisis is placing a significant burden on people. We need targeted measures to address inflation and increase the supply of housing. 

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