Emma Murphy becomes first LGBTQ+ woman elected as mayor in South Dublin

After joining South Dublin County Council in 2016, councillor Emma Murphy has now become the first LGBTQ+ woman elected as mayor in South Dublin.

Ireland's first LGBTQ+ mayor Emma Murphy posing smiling beside a young girl

South Dublin County Council announced LGBTQ+ woman Emma Murphy as their newly elected mayor after their annual meeting held on June 24th. This “landmark moment”, as the Council shares, comes with celebrations for the LGBTQ+ community, as Murphy is the first LGBTQ+ woman to be elected as mayor of South Dublin. 

Following the election, Murphy shared that she’s “thrilled” over the decision and to move forward in the position. 

With a background dedicated to empowering youth communities and promoting accessibility, Murphy’s new position only expands her platform to serve as a “role model for all young girls”, as Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee says, along with LGBTQ+ youth. Murphy currently works as a communications director for MEP Barry Andrews, who shared his excitement for her “historic achievement” over the weekend. Councillor Shane Moynihan also shares celebratory wishes, saying he believes Murphy’s election is a “proud and special day for South Dublin County Council”. 


As her election coincided with Dublin Pride celebrations over the weekend, Murphy shares her hopes that this decision will “send a message of hope and solidarity to all members of the LGBTQ+ community”. Murphy spent the weekend celebrating her new position, along with the triumphant return of Dublin Pride, reminding the community of the importance of representation for LGBTQ+ communities and for women. 


Murphy shares her vision for the future of the position, saying that “it’s something that I am very humbled by and hope that it opens more doors for women and members of the LGBTQ+ community to come forward and get involved and engaged in political life”. While celebrating South Dublin’s election, it’s important to acknowledge others in the LGBTQ+ community who’ve trailblazed a place within Irish politics. Ruth Illingworth, in 2009, was Mulligar’s first openly LGBTQ+ woman elected to be mayor. 

Alongside the celebration of Murphy’s accomplishment comes a recognition that queer representation in politics is still an issue to solve. As Emma Murphy mentioned following her election, with more LGBTQ+ political representation comes more advocacy for queer communities and LGBTQ+ youth, so it’s incredibly necessary to mobilize younger generations to engage with their political atmosphere.

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