Breda Gardner feels that the ordinary people of Kilkenny and Carlow are not being listened to by a government and a political system which, she claims, is archaic, decaying, full of stroke politics and cronyism.
Despite her hard approach towards the established parties, she is a warm and friendly person who strikes a chord with voters on the door who are touched by her sincerity and lack of a political machine and full-time press people by her side.
She canvassed Ossory Park, close to Nowlan Park GAA grounds on a cold Wednesday morning with Marion Massey and her daughter Lisa.
Everyone had a kind word for her and surprisingly for an independent, they recognised her and two of the residents said she was the only candidate to canvas there and said she would not be forgotten by them.
Water charges are an issue her because one woman had to pay €36 out of her old age pension to pay her water charge and while she doesn’t mind paying but it does leave her short some essentials during the week and said she might have to miss bingo this week.
Cllr Breda is accompanied by Lisa Massey who said Breda is her own woman who stands up for people and won’t be dictated to by the political parties or by county council officials. “She is a real independent voice sticking up for ordinary people,” Lisa Massey said.
Lisa also brought her mother Marion with her, another great support of Breda’s who is from the area.
“She is a free woman in the council can make up her our own mind rather than being told what to do by the likes of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail , Labour and Sinn Fein,” she said.
“She has more integrity and is more honest than other candidates in this by-election because they don’t actually say what they really believe in because of their affiliation to a political party,” she added.
Canvassing can be tiring but Breda has great energy and maybe that comes from her occupation as a therapist and she has a great reputation in a number of areas including: Homeopathy Iridology Muscle Testing Nutrition and Positive Affirmations.
Unlike other candidates, Breda loves dogs even the “growlly” ones and would you believe it, they stop barking when she comes near.
At one door, she meets Emer Hennessy and her son Liam.
Emer knows Breda and accepts her brochure,
Breda then gives her little introduction: “If you like what you read please consider me for a good vote, I would really appreciate it.”
Robert Heary comes along and she also asks him to read her brochure and manifesto before making up his mind.
There is a lot of mistrust in the government, people are fed up as they feel the parties are serving themselves and feel their voices are not being heard.
“People have been highlighting the Siteserv fiasco and how it was sold to Denis O’Brien and how independent TD, Catherine Murphy forced the government to launch an independent enquiry into all facets of the deal done by the former Anglo Irish Bank.
She said independent TD, Stephen Donnelly’s name had come up and explained how forced the government’s hand on water taxation. “Keeping Kilcreene Hospital services open is also a big issue,” she said.