Belfast Telegraph

Caoimhe Archibald: My casework has increased... people appreciate my work

 

Caoimhe Archibald
Caoimhe Archibald
Suzanne Breen

By Suzanne Breen

Caoimhe Archibald, Sinn Fein MLA for East Londonderry:

No two days are the same. I’ll check my emails first thing in the morning and then either drive from my home in Coleraine to my constituency office in Dungiven or to Stormont. I’d be in Stormont two or three days a week.

Yesterday, I was based in my constituency. I met two school principals in the morning and another in the afternoon.

Engaging with groups and individuals is my priority and I make a big effort to be available.

My casework has increased since devolution was suspended. Issues around school transport, access to health services, and housing benefit would be typical. I’d be at Stormont for party meetings or meeting with organisations. Despite the institutions not being up and running, engagement with stakeholders goes on as normal.

I’m Sinn Fein’s further and higher education spokesperson so I’m engaging regularly with universities, colleges and student unions. They have a lot of Brexit concerns.

I’m not good at switching off so even when I come home from the office I’ll still be checking up on things. I’d be out at meetings two or three times a week. I’m not getting abuse from the public about devolution being suspended. People who come into my constituency office appreciate the work I do and the effort I put in.

There are some nasty comments on social media but they wash over me. I don’t take them personally.

People want the institutions up and running but they don’t want it like before.

They want equality and good government. Sinn Fein has been engaged in negotiations on that basis.

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