Seventh heaven for Cork ladies
Two dead after taking heroin
Job losses announced at Cork Airport
Red hot jazz
Third time lucky?
Oil boom predicted: Providence CEO says Cork will benefit
Shandon dragon launched in time for Samhain
Fatality on Cork railway line
City stimulus ahead of Christmas
Providence sells UK assets
Mallow to milk it with €120m Dairygold expansion
Donncha cycles St Patrick's Hill 100 times
A Cork politician has accepted an offer to live the life of a single mother of three young children for a week.
Glanmire-based Labour Senator John Gilroy has agreed to swap places with Andrea Galgey in Tramore, Waterford for seven days.
She is a single mother of three who works part-time and attends college. She is also a SPARK (Single Parents Acting for the Rights of our Kids) campaigner and has become disenchanted with the Labour Party since the election.
Ms Galgey told the Cork Independent she hopes that a documentary can be made showing the life swap. She revealed that they are talking to one television production company about a possible documentary.
However Ms Galgey and Mr Gilroy still have to finalise the details and says that she is still not sure about how it’s going to work.
“The practicalities are going to be very difficult in the long run,” she says. She added that she is sure that they will do something, “even if he has to live on my money for a week or if he shadows me for a week”.
It all came about when Ms Galgey issued a challenge to TDs on the Labour Party’s Facebook page, as she had voted Labour in the election and believes they have let her down since then. "So many kids are under the poverty line now. Even the IMF are saying it."
Senator Gilroy who has two children, who are 16 and 17, and is a former psychiatric nurse expressed his interest almost immediately.
“It was an interesting proposal from Andrea Galgey on the Facebook wall of the Labour Party. She put out a challenge for people in the Labour party to swap places for a week and survive on the minimum wage.”
“Most policy makers are not impacted by their decision so there is a feeling of disconnect there. If we can do it then I would definitely be interested,” he said.
Mr Gilroy rejected any suggestion that he was doing it for media attention. “I have never been one for headline grabbing, and the Cork media would testify to that. I’m not one for sensationalism – I’m not well known! If I can get an insight by doing this then that’s what I’ll do.”
Ms Galgey lives on €500 a week and says she is struggling financially at the moment like everyone else in the country. She says that any cuts to child benefit or any cuts at all in the forthcoming budget would really impact on her negatively.
She also says that child benefit is essential for her.
“We all seem to think that TDs live in this bubble and they don’t really know what’s going on in this country. This is an opportunity for them to live like a normal person and see what they are living through.
“It could be a really good documentary for TDs to see the impacts and it might result in policy changes,” she says.
As a Senator John Gilroy earns a basic senator’s income of €65,621, he can claim travel allowance of €29,000 and is entitled to unvouched public representative allowance of €9,250. Andrea Galgey’s income is €26,000.