The Ceann Comhairle, Mr Séan Ó Fearghaíl TD, established a Forum on a Family Friendly and Inclusive Parliament on 23 March 2021. The Forum presented its report to the Ceann Comhairle on 2 November 2021.
Report of the Forum
The Forum on a Family Friendly and Inclusive Parliament has presented its report to the Ceann Comhairle, Mr Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD.
The Ceann Comhairle established the Forum and asked its members to generate practical and achievable recommendations that could make the Houses of the Oireachtas a more inclusive, family friendly and gender sensitive workplace.
The recommendations in the report represent a roadmap for the next stage of the journey for the Houses of the Oireachtas to achieve this.
Members of the Forum on a Family Friendly and Inclusive Parliament
- Ms Uruemu Adejinmi, Councillor
Uruemu Adejinmi is a Councillor in County Longford. She is married with three children, holds a Bachelors’ in Mathematics, an MBA, a postgrad in Risk and Financial Analysis and is a certified Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP).
Councillor Adejinmi is involved in many community groups including St. Mel's Cathedral and St. Christopher’s Disability Services, and is the founder of the Longford African Network, which was set up to support the cohesion and integration of Africans in the Longford community.
- Dr Fiona Buckley, Lecturer in the Department of Government and Politics, UCC, specialising in gender politics
Fiona Buckley is a lecturer in the Department of Government and Politics, University College Cork (UCC) specialising in gender politics. Fiona's research is largely focused on women in politics and in particular, examining gender and cabinet government and the impact of electoral gender quotas. She has also published on Irish politics and electoral administration.
- Ms Holly Cairns, TD
Holly Cairns is a TD for the Cork South-West constituency. She is the Social Democrats’ party spokesperson on agriculture, food and the marine; social justice and disability. She is a member of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration.
Holly has a first class honours MSc in Organic Horticulture from UCC. Her background as a farmer and environmentalist inspired her to enter politics.
- Ms Norah Casey, Businesswoman and Broadcaster
Broadcaster, entrepreneur and human rights campaigner Norah Casey is a well-known radio and television personality. Her digital learning platform Planet Woman seeks to empower women, and much of her life is devoted to mentoring SMEs and female founders globally. She serves on the European Board and is a Global Ambassador for Vital Voices established in 1997 by the then First Lady of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. She is a founder of the London-based Women's Irish Network and is a member of The International Women's Forum.
The second edition of her book Spark! published by Penguin is out now and her TEDx talks include The Cure for Grief and The Courage to Leave (her own testimony of domestic violence). Her work can be viewed at norahcasey.com.
- Ms Lisa Chambers, Senator
Senator Lisa Chambers is a Fianna Fáil Senator from Mayo. She served as TD for Mayo in the 32nd Dáil. She is a qualified barrister by profession and is currently deputy leader of Seanad Éireann and Fianna Fáil group leader in the Seanad.
- Mr Jim Clarken, CEO Oxfam Ireland, Executive Director of Oxfam International and a Commissioner at the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission
Jim Clarken is the CEO of Oxfam Ireland, an Executive Director of Oxfam International and a Commissioner at the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. He is a leading commentator on global issues relating to human rights and inequality, and is a passionate advocate for the rights of women. He has driven a gender justice focus at Oxfam working on women’s economic empowerment and participation in political and business leadership, and has led the Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence.
- Ms Alison Cowzer, Chairperson, Women for Election
Alison Cowzer is and entrepreneur and businesswomen, and co-founder of East Coast Bakehouse. As an investor and Dragon, on RTE’s Dragons' Den series, she has made investments in and mentors a number of start-up enterprises.
Alison is passionate about increasing the number of women in politics in Ireland and is Chairperson of Women for Election, a non-partisan organisation that provides training, mentoring and support to women entering political life. She is also a board member of number of NGO’s including GOAL, Ronald McDonald House Charity, and Rough Magic Theatre Company.
- Ms Roisin Deery, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Houses of the Oireachtas Service
Roisin Deery is the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer in the Houses of the Oireachtas Service. This is a new role in the Oireachtas Service, which Roisin has held since March 2020. The role includes the development of an equality, diversity and inclusion strategy to progress the work of the Houses of the Oireachtas Service in building an inclusive organisation and creating a diverse workforce. Roisin has a degree in Social Science and a Masters in Social Policy from University College Dublin and worked for over 15 years in providing support services for people with disabilities.
- Mr Tom Mallon, Barrister
Tom Mallon has been practicing at the Bar since 1987 specialising in employment law. He is an accredited mediator, lectures in King's Inns and other institutes on employment law and is co-author with the late Dr Mary Redmond of Strikes: An Essential Guide to Industrial Action and the Law (2010).
He was a founding member and the first chairman of the Employment Bar Association and has been a member of the Council of King's Inns for a number of years. He was elected a Bencher of King's Inns in 2015. He was recently nominated by the Bar Council as a member of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.
- Mr Ronan Murphy, Clerk to the Parliamentary Questions Office, Houses of the Oireachtas Service
Ronan Murphy is a political scientist with a background in public service reform and change management. He is Clerk to the Parliamentary Questions Office in the Houses of the Oireachtas Service.
- Ms Cáit NicAmhlaoibh, Political Policy Advisor and Administrator
Cáit is the administrator and policy advisor with a group of Independent TDs in the 33rd Dáil. For more than ten years she has worked with Members of the Oireachtas in both Seanad Éireann and Dáil Éireann. Previous to this she worked as head of human resources in the retail sector. Cáit holds a Masters in Library and Information Studies, Diploma in Public Relations and is a certified mediator.
- Ms Fiona O’Loughlin, Chairperson of the Irish Women’s Parliamentary Caucus
Fiona O’Loughlin is a Fianna Fáil Senator from Kildare. She served as TD for the Kildare South constituency in the 32nd Dáil, and was Chair of the Joint Committee on Education and Skills. Fiona is currently the Chairperson of the Irish Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, which was established in 2017 as a cross-party forum for Irish women parliamentarians to discuss and campaign on issues predominantly affecting women.
- Mr Neale Richmond, TD
First elected to the Dáil in 2020, Neale previously served as a Senator, a member of the EU’s Committee of the Regions and as a County Councillor. A graduate of UCD, Neale worked as a parliamentary assistant in both the European Parliament and the Dáil as well as a project manager in the not for profit sector. Neale lives in Stepaside with his wife and two young children.
- Ms Mary Upton, Chairperson of the Forum on a Family Friendly and Inclusive Parliament
Mary Upton was elected to Dáil Éireann in a by-election in 1999. She represented the constituency of Dublin South-Central as a Labour Party TD until her retirement in 2011. She holds a PhD in Industrial Microbiology and prior to her election she lectured in food microbiology at University College Dublin.
- Mr Fintan Warfield, Senator
Fintan Warfield is a Senator and Sinn Féin representative. He is currently serving his second term in the Seanad having been re-elected in 2020. He is a musician and an LGBT activist.
Terms of Reference
Read the Terms of Reference of the Forum on a Family Friendly and Inclusive Parliament.
Read the press release in which the Ceann Comhairle announced the establishment of the Forum on a Family Friendly and Inclusive Parliament.