Senator Marie Sherlock lives in Phibsborough and is the Labour Party’s national spokesperson on Employment Affairs, Arts, Culture, Media and the Gaeltacht
Who am I?
Originally from a small rural village called Carraig na bhFear in Co. Cork, I came to Dublin to study 20 years ago, fell in love with a Donegal man and decided to stay! I’m very proud to be living and raising my children in Dublin 7.
I was first elected as a Senator in 2020. Before that, I was Head of Equality and Policy at SIPTU, Ireland’s largest trade union. I was previously elected as a Dublin City Councillor to represent the people of the Cabra-Glasnevin area.
What are my local priorities?
I have spent more than ten years working on the biggest issues affecting workers, families and our country: employment, economic policy, access to housing and health, and the need for a Just Transition that protects workers and communities while taking real climate action.
First and foremost, I believe that all change must be local. Dublin Central is a thriving collection of communities but we can do so much more to make it a better place to live, raise our families and grow old in.
Working together as communities, I know that we can ensure:
- That our urban villages are safe for pedestrians and cyclists, and not dominated by cars commuting into Dublin
- That everyone has access to affordable long-term housing, and that we meet the real housing needs of the community rather than building excessive student accommodation, co-living and build-to-rent developments
- That we have access to good air quality for all areas of Dublin Central, ensuring that people’s health is protected along with our environment
What am I working on in the Seanad?
As the Labour Party’s national spokesperson for Employment Affairs, Arts, Culture, Media and the Gaeltacht, I am fighting for a vision of Ireland with worker’s rights and a thriving national culture at its core.
Some of my main priority areas so far have been:
- Writing a new law which would guarantee paid sick leave for every worker
- Pushing for stronger protections for people working from home
- Banning unpaid internships and ensuring everyone is paid fairly for their work
- Promoting infrastucture for more and safer cycling, walking and public transport
- Supporting construction of social and affordable housing on public land
- Fighting for artists, event workers and local media to have the supports they need
- Calling for more funding for Irish-language broadcasting
What is my background?
I have a degree in Economics and Political Science from Trinity College Dublin and an MPhil in Regional, Urban and Environmental Economics (Land Economy) from Cambridge University.
In 2005, I worked for the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament. I returned to Ireland in 2006 and worked for DKM Economic Consultants, before joining the Research Department of SIPTU, Ireland’s largest trade union, in 2007.
I have served as a member of the Government’s Labour Market Council and the Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare for the Minister for Social Protection. I was a member of the Central Statistics Office’s High Level Consultative Group on the reporting of the National Accounts in 2016.
In 2015, I took a year out to work for the Labour Party to head up the development of the party’s general election manifesto.
I was first elected to Dublin City Council in May 2019 and to Seanad Éireann in April 2020. In July 2020, I was appointed as Labour Party Whip in the Seanad and as national spokesperson for Employment Affairs, Arts, Culture, Media and the Gaeltacht.