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9 August 2022  

Healy, Michelle

Healy, Michelle

Healy, Michelle

Healy, Michelle
Member of University College Cork Governing Body; Project Manager

My name is Michelle Healy and I’m a passionate and progressive citizen from Bishopstown in Cork who has decided to stand up and offer you a choice as an independent candidate in the 2020 NUI Seanad Election.

We have an opportunity to elect a genuine voice to our Seanad, and I represent the values of integrity, equality, honesty, and compassion.

My mission in life is simply to make this world a better place for others. I’m doing this because I know so many people in Ireland today who are being left behind.

I am doing this for the seven year old girl who goes to the same primary school that I went to, and who was so excited to meet a women from her school who was running for election, I am doing this for the woman who looked about my age and was standing in town crying because she would be homeless that night, I am doing this for the student who can’t afford housing and is considering to drop out of university, I am doing this for the health care staff who try every day to deliver quality of care to patients sitting on trolleys, I am doing this for people who would love to cycle to school and work, but are terrified to do so, I am doing this for your children and for your grandchildren, because we will pass this beautiful country on to them, I am doing this for every single one of you.

When you are finished reading this, if you think my values speak to yours, if you think I have genuine motivation, and if you think I have the right skills and proven experience to deliver change, then I urge you to please use your vote, and give me your first preference vote.

With a background in Human Rights Law, Government & Public Policy, I am a proud graduate of University College Cork who has spent my entire life working on social justice issues and equality in Ireland, and internationally, with the United Nations and international NGOs. My life has encompassed two key elements, enacting real positive social change and giving a voice to those without one.

If elected these will be some of my priority issues:

  1. Housing & Homelessness: More public and affordable homes; Establish a Housing Commission; Eliminate street homelessness; Disincentivise Land Hoarding; Freeze residential rents; Housing as a Constitutional Right

  2. Childcare: Flexible work options for primary care givers, Extension of paid parental leave; Increase direct funding to the childcare sector; Improved salaries and conditions for childcare staff

  3. Healthcare: Roll-out of SlainteCare: Reducing waiting/trolley times; Community based primary health care services, including mental health and well-being; Free contraception; Safe accessible abortion services for women across Ireland following the repeal of the 8th amendment; Safe zones outside hospitals

  4. Climate Action & Sustainable Transport: Just transition from carbon energy; Support biodiversity efforts such as replanting of native trees and conservation of vulnerable native wildlife and fauna; Promote single use plastic-free towns and public services. Investment in sustainable transport including cycling, rail, and bus systems; Invest in green routes and safe cycling access to schools; Bike-to-School scheme, and bike scheme for unemployed persons

  5. Education: Pay restoration for teachers; Increase special needs support at primary level; access to education for marginalised groups; Increase funding for higher education; Access to third-level education for asylum seekers; Healthy food and well-being policies in primary and second level schools;

  6. Equality and Human Rights: Action on hate legislation, End Direct Provision; Universal (accessible) design for public Infrastructure (housing, health, education, transport, recreation); Improve the standard of bathrooms for persons with disability; Improve rights & supports for returning Irish emigrants; Equality-proof legislation

  7. Better Politics: Establish independent Electoral Commission; Voter education; Reform the Seanad giving all citizens a vote

  8. Arts, Culture and Language: Increased funding for arts and culture in communities; Access to summer Irish language schools for marginalised groups; Incentivise Irish language classes for adults. Is le gach duine an Ghaeilge. Bain triail aisti. Táim chun mo chúpla focail a úsáid chomh minic agus is féidir! #anchaint

Why you should vote for me?

I am a former United Nations (UN) humanitarian aid worker with a background in human rights law, and an alumnus of UCC and Queens University Belfast, and was awarded the Rotary Ireland Peace and Conflict Resolution Fellowship. I spent a decade working in war-torn regions across Africa and the Middle East, before returning home to Cork to take on an exciting new role in higher education with UCC.

I have the energy, compassion, and proven expertise to be a real voice in our Seanad, a voice of change.

I don’t just talk about change, I deliver change:

  1. Led on the development and opening of a new multi-million Euro sustainable and inclusive student services building in Cork.

  2. Advocated for the first ever public ‘Changing Places’ Bathroom in Cork County supporting persons with disabilities.

  3. Established a partnership with the COPE Foundation for a employment/training social enterprise in UCC for clients with disabilities.

  4. Topped the poll and elected by the graduates of UCC to serve on the UCC Governing Body from 2019 – 2024, overseeing major strategic decisions for a community of 25,000

  5. Secured and rolled-out 100 million Euros worth of funding for large complex humanitarian aid and development programmes with the UN and International NGOs across Africa and the Middle East.

  6. Rolled-out civil society engagement, health, and protection programmes in partnership with the new Government of South Sudan.

  7. Set up a relocation project in partnership with UNHCR in Lebanon, ensuring that Syrian refugees were safely relocated to Canada.

  8. Established a bomb risk education programme for Syria with a focus on protection of children

  9. Ensured the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo met international treaty obligations through the completing a landmine survey across Congo, a country the size of Western Europe.

  10. Negotiated with the UN Peacekeeping Mission and Security Council to ensure continue funding for protection for vulnerable communities in the Congo.

  11. Rolled-out HIV education and prevention programme material across East and Southern Africa with UNICEF

  12. Drafted successful legislation in the New York Assembly supporting rights for undocumented workers, primarily Irish immigrants to the US.

I am not aligned to any political party and never have been. I am a true independent voice. I am self-funding my campaign, and if elected, I will be donating 10% of my income to charity, namely Pieta House and Cork Simon Community in the first year.

Being a Senator will be my only full-time job, and I pledge that I will go to work and be in the Seanad on voting days. I am committed to remain living in Cork if elected to the Seanad. I believe we need more Senators who are regionally based and who can stay in touch with the issues on the ground.

As a person of action, a lifelong social justice activist, I will speak for equality, for diversity, for inclusion, for integrity, for compassion, and most importantly, for you.

I want to bring your voice to the Seanad, a voice of change. 

It would be the greatest honour to represent you in our Seanad Éireann, and I pledge that I will work tirelessly to ensure that we have an Ireland that we all deserve. If you believe in me, then I kindly ask for your # 1 vote. 

To find out more about me, please visit www.michellehealy.ie.

You can also connect with me via Twitter and Instagram @MichelleHealy_1 and Linkedin @Healy4Seanad.

“If there is one thing you should know about Michelle, it’s that she doesn’t do things by halves.
She brings energy, optimism, and a whole-hearted approach to absolutely everything she does.
I believe we need more people with her kind of motivation in the Seanad - people who get things done.
That’s why I was delighted to nominate her for Seanad Eireann.”

Professor John O’Halloran
Deputy President and Registrar, University College Cork.

“I first met Michelle in Sudan back in 2009 and I thought she is exactly who we need in UN...
She's worked in some really tough places where diplomacy, negotiation and relationship building is everything.
She is strong, the kind of strong that never gives up. You want someone with
Michelle's courage and conviction in your Senate.”

Mr. Paul Heslop
Chief of Operations, United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), New York.