Press release

Seanad gets strong new voice as Green Party’s Mal O’Hara from Belfast becomes newest senator

8th April 2024
Mal O'Hara

Mal O’Hara became the newest member of the Seanad and the Green Party’s fifth senator at a short ceremony in Leinster House today (April 8th). O’Hara is leader of Green Party Northern Ireland and a former member of Belfast City Council where he was a strong voice for the environment, communities and LGBTQ+ rights. He was accompanied by his husband and family members, friends and Green Party TDs and Ministers as he was made a senator.

Speaking at Leinster House, Senator O’Hara said;

“I am honoured and humbled to become a senator today. I am proud to make history as the first Northern Green to take a seat in Seanad Éireann. It is vital that there is Northern representation, and I am pleased that all parties recognised that need for representation and did not contest me.

I am a former city councillor, a former Harbour Commissioner, and a former board member of two mental health charities. My two decades in the community and voluntary sector along with a life-long commitment as an activist, means I can represent all traditions from Northern Ireland as a fair arbiter.

I look forward to joining a strong Green team in the Oireachtas and working with colleagues in Government and cross-party to continue to fight for social and environmental justice.”

O’Hara comes from North Belfast and has been the Leader of the Green Party Northern Ireland since August 2022. Before entering politics, he worked in the community and voluntary sector for almost two decades, addressing inequality and building peace in the most deprived areas of Belfast. He was previously the health manager at Ireland’s largest LGBTQ+ organisation, is the former Vice-Chair of the Equal Marriage Campaign in the North, was a board member for both a local and regional mental health charity and a former Harbour Commissioner.

Senator O’Hara was welcomed by Senator Roisin Garvey, Leader of the Green Party in the Seanad;

“As an all-Ireland party, it is great to have a strong voice from Belfast with vast experience in the community sector join our Green team in the Seanad.”

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