The Voice Of A Generation

#TrendsterAras18 Presidential Interview Series: Senator Joan Freeman


The #TrendsterAras18 Presidential Interview Series aims to help better inform young voters ahead of the Irish Presidential Election on Friday, October 26th. We have requested interviews with each of the six presidential candidates and have set out a list of eight questions which we believe will offer young people more of an insight into each of the presidential hopefuls.

The second candidate to accept our interview request was Senator Joan Freeman. I sat down to speak with Joan over tea in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin.

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In your opinion, what do you believe sets you apart from the other candidates?
  • 1. Why did do you decide to run for the Presidency?
  • 2. In your opinion, what do you believe sets you apart from the other candidates?
  • 3. What do you understand the Presidents role to be in a modern Ireland?
  • 4. Can the President implement any substantial changes on issues affecting young people in Ireland or is the role restricted? If so should this be changed?
  • 5. Over the last number of years, we have seen some substantial social changes in Ireland, two of the most notable would be gay marriage and the removal of the 8th amendment, many would agree that these changes were driven by younger voters wanting a better Ireland. As President is there any further social change that you would like to champion?
  • 6. There has much discussion in the last year around lowering the voting to sixteen, what are your views?
  • 7. If elected as President and you could invite anybody over to Aras an Uachtaráin for tea, who would be your first choice?
  • 8. If given the opportunity, what one piece of advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

2. In your opinion, what do you believe sets you apart from the other candidates?

I believe I am applying for a job, you know, and the other guys are applying… there is six candidates right, six applicants…. and, so when you’re applying for a job, I am sure you have done it yourself, you’ve got to see does the role fit, is it the right fit for you, but you have to see do you have the qualities for the role, and the third thing is, do you have the experience for the role, you know how we cram up our CV to make sure it looks good to show that we can take on a new role… I don’t have to do that, my last fifteen years, you know setting up Pieta House, setting up Darkness in Light has proved that I am serving the public, but believe it or not, since I was seventeen I’ve been serving the public as a volunteer first of all, than later years Pieta House, and then as a Senator, I’ve always served the public, and I’m passionate about it, and I want to be able to serve the public for the next seven years… but I do think I have the qualities, and being a female of my age has proved to be quite challenging at times, you know in the men’s world, boys party, or boys club I often call it… where you have to have resilience, and determination and strength… and I think I have proved that, because also try to remember, fifteen years ago, suicide was never spoken about, so look what’s happened since.

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