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My name is Fintan Warfield. I am a newly elected Senator, a former Mayor of South Dublin, a Sinn Féin activist and a party spokesperson for youth affairs, LGBT rights and the arts.

On April 25th 2016 – the centenary of the Easter Rising, I was elected as the first Senator of the 25th Seanad Éireann. Having received a nomination from the National Youth Council of Ireland and the Genealogical Society of Ireland, I was elected on the first count of the Cultural and Educational panel.

My previous work alongside progressive NGO’s and their successful record in working with previous Senators instilled in me a belief, that although Seanad Éireann demands radical reform, it has been an effective political space for a number of progressive Senators.

I believe in using every available forum to make social and political change for those whose interests continue to be under-represented. Standing by and allowing the continued under-representation of the most vulnerable and disenfranchised is not an option for Sinn Féin. Nor is it an option for young people, the LGBT community, or the arts.

I want to be a campaigning Senator, using my activism to progress inclusion and equality.

During the 2014 local and European elections, I successfully stood as a Sinn Féin candidate in the Templeogue-Terenure electoral area, incorporating Ballycullen, Firhouse, Knocklyon, Templeogue, Terenure, Greenhills, Cherryfield and Perrystown. A return of nine Sinn Féin Councillors to South Dublin County Council allowed republicans to negotiate a progressive alliance alongside independents and the Labour Party.

I have been honoured to serve as the youngest Mayor of a local authority in Ireland. During a twelve month term from June 2014 – June 2015, I prioritised homelessness, the referendum for civil marriage equality, and youth unemployment in South Dublin. In an attempt to make a small difference to three organisations reflective of my priorities, I reduced the salary of the Mayor by 10%.

Saoirse Women’s Refuge in Tallaght, BeLonGTo – a national organisation for LGBT young people, and Citywise – a group that provides young people with educational support in Jobstown were each presented with €1,000.

I have been active in local politics since the age of sixteen. I attended St. Mac Dara’s Community College and played gaelic football for St. Judes GAA Club in Templeogue.

At the age of 17, I moved to Galway City where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Television, with Gaeilge and Culture.

Following college, I performed extensive tours with Derek Warfield & The Young Wolfe Tones throughout the United States.

17288974135_8087f4b812_oFrom a young age, I have had a keen interest in Ireland’s cultural heritage of arts and music. I have served as the voluntary chairperson of Rua Red – South Dublin’s cultural community centre.

I am currently the voluntary chairperson of the Civic Theatre. Our mission is to mount an artistic and challenging programme of contemporary and classical work in theatre, dance, opera and music for the community of South Dublin County.

Sinn Féin believe in a cultural landscape that is equitable and fair for all of Ireland’s artists, encouraging to its future artists and immersive for all of its patrons and citizens.

In 2015, I authored a Sinn Féin document titled, Creative Communities, and outlined a number of key proposals, including the reinstatement of funding for the arts, and for public expenditure to be brought into line with European Member State GDP average. Other proposals call for the overhaul of state boards, safeguarding the right of every young person to explore their creative potential and challenging in order to broaden our own perceptions of what constitutes ‘art’ in an effort to bring more voices into discourse and practice.

I have been highly active in the campaign to achieve equality for members of the LGBTQI+ community and for their children. I have spoken out in relation to marriage equality, trans rights and various other issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people in Ireland.

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I have previously worked closely with the Walkinstown-Greenhills Resource Centre. The facility coordinates a local approach to substance abuse and provides support services to young people who are affected by drug and alcohol abuse. Walkinstown-Greenhills Resource Centre also support a Men’s Shed on Walkinstown Green. The work shop creates a place of participatory democracy, mutual respect, companionship and community.