Queer People Of The Elections And The "I've Voted" Initiative

A list of queer candidates in Ireland's upcoming EU and local elections and details on the new "I've Voted" initiative.

Queers and the election

This year, the European Parliament elections will take place in Ireland on May 24. Local elections will be held on the same day, as will a referendum on divorce laws. Below is a list of LGBT candidates running for election this year.


Sharon Nolan

Sharon Nolan elections

Nolan is an activist and feminist. Her core values are based on workers’ rights, better housing protections, and social justice issues. She also aims to work on including more diverse voices in politics, especially at a local level where all residents have a vote and should be engaged. She is a pro-choice advocate and was the co-convener for Galway Together for Yes. She’s an LGBT+ rights campaigner and has been Galway’s Bi+ Ireland co-ordinator for the last number of years.

Eoghan Howe

Eoghan Howe elections

Howe is the Fine Gael candidate for Dublin 8. He became politically active through his involvement in campaigns such as the Marriage Equality and 8th Amendment referendums. He has an interest in urban development and city planning. In an interview with GCN, he said “I first got politicised as a teenager, when I realised that I was gay and I felt that that limited my opportunities. It got me angry. At that point, I just wanted to leave Ireland. I thought I wouldn’t really be able to live my life the way I wanted here.” Eoghan aims to establish better transport and cycling infrastructure. More green spaces, public services and addressing the housing crisis are also on his would-be ‘To-Do’ as a Dublin City Council member.

Grace McManus

Grace McManus elections

McManus works in Leinster House as an advisor to Sinn Féin senators Máire Devine and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn and is running as a Sinn Féin candidate in Bray East in the local elections. McManus is a young gay woman and, in an interview with the Irish Times,  said that living at home with her parents as she can’t afford to rent was a factor in her decision to run. “Representation is important,” she said. “It’s not everything. I want to be there because I’m skilled and I have the knowledge and I have worked hard to be there. But I also know that when you see yourself in a lineup, it becomes more realistic.” McManus helped establish Bray Refugee Solidarity and is passionate about well-being and mental health.

Alan Edge

Alan Edge elections

Alan Edge is standing as a Local Independent Candidate in Firhouse. Edge previously worked as a legal-aid barrister in London and has campaigned “tirelessly for social justice, equality and inclusion.” He has worked with Minister Katherine Zappone in areas such as health and childcare. Edge hopes to “drive positive changes environmentally, economically and culturally.” He also aims to combat the problem of illegal dumping.


Maria Walsh

Maria Walsh elections

Walsh is the Fine Gael candidate for Member of European Parliament (Midlands/North-West Constituency). Walsh was born in Boston and raised along the Mayo-Galway border in Shrule. She was crowned the Rose of Tralee in 2014 – becoming the first gay woman to do so. She is the youngest member of the party running in the European Elections. Walsh said she is passionate about mental health, diversity, inclusion, women’s rights and working to improve young people’s lives.

Dominic Hannigan

Dominic Hannigan elections

Hannigan is Midlands-North-West candidate for European Parliament for Labour and the Party of European Socialists. He was one of the first openly gay TDs elected to the Dáil. He is on the board of BeLonG To, which supports LGBT+ youth in Ireland. Hannigan aims to invest in balanced regional development and “building a future where workers have good jobs, with fair conditions and decent wages.” He also aims to tackle issues such as climate change. He campaigned to support marriage equality and to repeal the eighth amendment.

Below is a Twitter thread listing various other candidates who are fighting to advance LGBT+ equality.

On May 24, voters in Dublin will be able to wear their votes with pride with a new non-partisan “I’ve Voted” sticker project. The stickers will be available in 122 polling places across the Dublin City area.

Three local artists – Maser, Jacek Matysiak and Jacky Sheridan – were commissioned to design three different stickers.

In 2014, turnout for the European Parliament elections was the lowest ever across the European Union. Just 21 per cent of young people in Ireland between the ages of 18 and 24 turned out to vote in 2014.

Liz Carolan and Una Mullally, who developed the project, are encouraging voters to wear their stickers with pride, and post an image on social media, using the hashtag #thistimeimvoting

The stickers are not affiliated with any political party, campaign, or movement, but designed to remind people to get to the polls, and express pride in participating in these crucial elections.

Speaking about the initiative, Una Mullally said, “These European Parliament elections are potentially the most crucial ones the EU has ever had, and it’s so important that people make their voices heard.”

“Myself and Liz Carolan wanted to inject some positive vibes about the decision people make to vote, and find a way to visualise that decision and share it in a way that would hopefully influence their pals to vote as well,” Mullally added.

“We’re not asking people to vote in any particular way, just that you get out there, cast your ballot, have your voice heard, and wear your vote with pride.”

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.