Saoirse Mackin makes history as first openly trans person to run for local election in Ireland

Believed to be the first openly transgender person to run for local elections in the Republic of Ireland, Mackin campaigns for affordable housing, improved public services and trans healthcare.

Photo of Saoirse Mackin speaking at podium surrounded by Pride flags at Cork
Image: Facebook, Saoirse Mackin

Saoirse Mackin has been nominated by the Social Democrats to run in Cork City North West’s 2024 election, and she is believed to be the first openly transgender person in history to run for local election in the Republic of Ireland.

Mackin works diligently to identify areas where transgender support services can be improved. As someone who has personally experienced difficulties accessing hormone replacement therapy, if elected, one of her top priorities will be eliminating the excessive healthcare barriers that are in place for transgender women in Ireland.

As an avid cyclist, Mackin also advocates for better cycling infrastructures, as well as affordable housing and improved public services.

She said, “If elected, my priority areas will include the provision of more affordable housing, improved public services, universal access to healthcare and the development of quality cycle infrastructure in Cork. I will also campaign for better local amenities, such as upgraded parks, green spaces, playgrounds and sports facilities.”


The Trans+ Pride Cork Co-Founder added, “While I am proud to be the first transgender candidate running for election in the Republic of Ireland, it is my intention to be a public representative for the entire community if I win a council seat in Cork City North West next June.”

In addition to being a transgender activist, Mackin is also a law student and community organiser who has bravely spoken up against the growing far-right movement in Ireland. She was also named in the Irish Examiner‘s 100 Women of 2022 list.


Speaking about Mackin’s nomination, the newly elected leader of the Social Democrats, Holly Cairns, said, “Saoirse is exactly the kind of candidate we want to see running in next year’s local elections – one who is honest, principled and committed to our party’s vision for a more equal Ireland.”

Anyone who would like to support Saoirse Mackin’s campaign and help her reach the community in Cork City North West’s Electoral Area can contribute to her fundraiser.

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