Participation and Political Reform

I stand for an Ireland where everyone can participate fully. From my work with older people and with young people in unemployment, I understand the need for investment in education, youth work, community development, social care and mental health supports.

In the Seanad I will champion the importance of cultural participation and the arts. Committed to Seanad reform, I am advocating for universal suffrage, as sought by Senators Feargal Quinn and John Crowne, and am supporting greater public and civil society engagement with the Oireachtas.

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​ Civil Engagement Group call for equality, transparency and sustainability in Budget 2018.

The Civil Engagement Group in the Seanad is calling on the Government to deliver equality, transparency and sustainable development in Budget 2018. The group have highlighted five principles which they say should underpin the budgetary decision-making. 

1. Budget 2018 must deliver joined-up thinking for sustainable development. 

2. Budget 2018 must prioritise investment in public services and social infrastructure 

3. Budget 2018 must address social, economic and gender inequality 

4. Budget 2018 must be clear and transparent around taxation 

5. Budget 2018 must meet international standards and commitments.

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins supports bill to lower voting age to 16

I spoke in favour of Senator Lynn Ruane and Senator Fintan Warfield's bill to lower the voting age to 16 for local and European Parliament elections. The evidence behind this bill is clear. It is not just that 16 year olds need the opportunity to meaningfully engage with their communities, it is also crucial that young people help to shape the future of their communities and Europe. It is very disappointing that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have blocked this bill for another nine months; meaning that it is likely that many young people will not have the opportunity to vote in the highly important European Parliament elections of 2019.

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins questions Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald on latest Garda Síochána scandal

On Wednesday the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald came to the Seanad to answer questions on the ongoing Garda scandal. I highlighted that "along with the over reporting of road incidents, I would also be very concerned about under reporting of Racist incidents and Domestic Violence. There have been very serious concerns raised about underreporting in these areas".