When I joined the army in 1989, the first thing I learned was: Leave no one behind.

Decades later, that maxim still holds true. As a father of four, a carer, an educator, a citizen, I believe that solidarity is key to a full and equal recovery for Ireland. As active citizens, we all have a role to play in doing the right thing and leaving no one behind. That is why I’m running for election to the Seanad in 2016.

I live in Booterstown with my family of four children and our Assistance Dog, Duke. As a baby, my 13-year-old son, Eoghan, was diagnosed with a rare neuromuscular disease. Austerity has robbed Eoghan, and thousands of other children and young adults, of basic physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. As his father and carer, I see every day the damage done by the erosion of these vital services.

My son Eoghan, and thousands of young children and adults with disabilities have lost basic services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy due to Austerity and Savage Cuts to Health and Social Protection.Tom Clonan

Eoghan is confined to a wheelchair that is too small for him, compromising both his medical condition and his self-esteem as a young teenager. This is a direct result of savage cuts to the health services during the past five years and a lack of political will to address the inequality faced every day by people living with disabilities.

The time has come to eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities to create a truly equal, modern Republic. If elected, I will take the fight for equality to the Seanad on behalf of Trinity graduates and the people of Ireland.

I’m #AbleForEquality – are you?