Mícheál Choilm Mac Giolla Easbuig is contesting upcoming council elections in Donegal.
Mícheál was born into a Republican family. Many members of his extended family spent time resisting British imperialism and also spent time in jail for their commitment to that cause. The best known examples of that are his aunts, Anne and Eileen Gillespie, who served ten years for explosives and conspiracy charges in England.
He himself is a Socialist Republican who has been politically active since a young child.
He moved to Dublin and got very involved in left wing politics in Dublin and worked with community and youth groups there, especially in the Ballymun area and the Inner City.
He moved back to Donegal and worked with Family Support and also with young people in the Lagan area and around Letterkenny.
He has been involved in work, with others, to save community creches, post offices, infrastructure, etc. in Donegal. He has also stood up for workers’ rights and supported strikes throughout the area. He was one of the founding members of Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay, helping to build it from a small gathering in the community hall in Anagaire to it being a successful campaign against the water tax.
His politics inevitably meant that he felt he had to stand for local elections and he was elected to Donegal County Council in 2014. In the Council, he hasn’t been shy in his support for political prisoners, human rights and the trade union movement. He has worked to change policy, especially on housing within the Council and has also proposed motions to Council in support of Palestine. He has been a strong advocate for the Irish language and has consistently spoken Irish as his main means of communicating in Council chambers and at meetings and has forced the Council’s hand to introduce changes to procedure in relation to the Irish language. He has had very little support from other Irish speakers on this issue, but has continued his campaign unabated for the five years that he has been a Councillor.
Fundamental to his activity in the Council and in the community in general is the belief that his role is to help organise people to fight back against their oppressors on their own terms. No party can do that for the people. Only the people themselves are capable of bringing fundamental change about.