Fergal's recent contest in the General Election as a candidate for the Green Party caught the attention of the global surf media. We were proud to watch our ambassador and good friend take the things he cares about so deeply and inspire people not just in Co Clare but all over the world.
He made the priority the environment, stating that without healthy soil nothing exists: trees, vegetables, grass, grazing animals and their produce. His vision of a future fit for the next generation sent tingles up our spines.
Our Ambassador manager and team rider Matt Smith caught up with Fergal the morning after the election results were announced.
How do you feel about the outcome?
Delighted, we raised all the issues we wanted to bring forward, respected the earth and got people talking about the way we look after our planet. I might not have been elected but I feel we put green politics on the agenda in County Clare.
What’s your biggest take away from the election process?
That people are still slow to change. Everyone loved what we were doing but still couldn't change their vote, however, we initiated it and it will take time to change but it's starting.
Photo Calum Creasey
Any words of advice for anyone wanting to follow your lead?
Just go for it. I followed what I believed in, honesty in what we said. We didn’t have the financial backing or the political experience but we had honesty. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in as that is a powerful message.
Did you ever feel overwhelmed by the election process?
Some of the debates were tough. Talking to some of the other candidates that know the political game so well and can overwhelm you with the facts and figures makes it difficult to have a conversation and communicate in a natural way, it makes it difficult for people to see the truth in it.
Photo by Mitch Corbett
I think everything happens the way it’s meant to. If we had more time and money we would have had a lot more first preference votes but we didn't have that time or money. It’s still great that people came out and voted and the campaign really got people talking.
What’s next for you?
Plant some vegetables. The ground has finally dried up. First the trees will go in the ground, then the vegetables. It’s our first summer on the new land. It’s so exciting.