Independent Senator Alice Mary Higgins seeks re-election to Seanad Éireann on NUI panel

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins with Attracta Halpin, NUI, submitting her nomination papers
Senator Alice-Mary Higgins with Attracta Halpin, NUI, submitting her nomination papers

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins today, 14 February, lodged her nomination papers to seek re-election to the next Seanad on the National University of Ireland (NUI) panel. 

She was formally nominated by Caitriona Crowe, Social Historian and Archivist, who stated: “Alice-Mary Higgins is one of the most effective, passionate and inspiring legislators and advocates for social justice in Ireland.” 

The candidacy was seconded by Ailbhe Smyth who said “Alice-Mary is a powerful voice for women and equality”.

A progressive independent Senator, Alice-Mary first won her seat in 2016 – the first woman elected on the NUI panel in 35 years. She has led Seanad debate on issues of equality and environment and earned a reputation as an effective legislator – proposing and winning amendments across a wide range of legislation. 

Alice-Mary is the Leader of Civil Engagement Group in the Seanad, a group of Senators committed to strengthening the links between civil society and policy-making.

She was a member of the ‘Joint Committee on Employment Affairs and Social Protection’ and the ‘Joint Committee on Climate Action’ in the last Oireachtas. She also chaired the Cross-Party Group on Peace, Neutrality and Disarmament.

Speaking today, Senator Higgins said:

“When I was elected in 2016, I promised to bring care, creativity and long-term thinking into the heart of political debate. That approach will be more important then ever in the next Seanad. I am ambitious for action on equality, environment and a rights-based approach to public services.”

“I have worked hard within the Seanad to make a difference in people’s lives, winning significant changes to the law in areas ranging from data protection to biodiversity.”

“I believe the collaborative, sometimes unusual, approach taken by myself and other members of the Civil Engagement Group has helped drive real progress on disability, domestic violence, decent work and human rights.” 

Alice-Mary continued, “One area that has been frustrating is the delay and obstruction around Seanad Reform. I have co-proposed legislation which would widen the franchise and I will push to see that passed in the next Oireachtas”.

Alice-Mary has sponsored and co-sponsored ten Bills – including the Occupied Territories Bill and the Family Reunification Bill which have already passed all stages in the Seanad and currently await a ‘money message’.  She confirmed that if re-elected “One priority is ensuring that the progressive Bills we have introduced, including my recent Bill to put quality at the heart of public procurement, complete their journey into law.” 

However, she noted that “A time of change also opens up new possibilities and the next Seanad will have a crucial role to play in shaping our direction as a country. I will be a strong voice in the debates that matter and I hope that NUI graduates will again place their trust in me”.

List of Nominators and Assentors:

  • Caitríona Crowe
  • Ailbhe Smyth
  • Theo Dorgan
  • Tara Flynn
  • Donncha O’Connell
  • Maeve O’Rourke
  • P.J. Drudy
  • Anastasia Crickley
  • Colette Kelleher

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