Alice-Mary Higgins

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Alice-Mary Higgins
Assumed office
8 June 2016
ConstituencyNational University
Personal details
Alice-Mary Higgins

(1975-04-10) 10 April 1975 (age 49)
Galway, Ireland
Political partyIndependent
Other political
Civil Engagement group
Alma mater

Alice-Mary Higgins (born 10 April 1975) is an Irish Independent politician who has served as a Senator for the National University since April 2016.[1] She became the leader of the Civil Engagement group in the 25th Seanad. She was the campaigns and policy officer at the National Women's Council of Ireland, and a board member of the European Women's Lobby.

Personal life[edit]

She is the daughter of Michael D. Higgins, a former Labour Party politician and the ninth and current President of Ireland.[2]

Higgins studied English and philosophy at University College Dublin,[2] and took an MPhil in theatre and cultural studies at Trinity College Dublin, and a Fulbright MA in sociology at The New School in New York City.[3]

In June 2023, she gave birth to her first child, a boy.[4][5]


Higgins stood for election to Seanad Éireann on the National University panel in April 2016 and was elected to the third and final seat on the 28th count.[6] Higgins is the first woman elected to the NUI Panel in 35 years.[6]

She was an independent candidate for the Dublin constituency at the 2019 European Parliament election but was not elected.[7]

Higgins currently serves as a member of the executive committee of the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, campaigning for gender equality, reproductive rights and equal access to healthcare for women.[8]

In 2016, Higgins introduced a motion to the Seanad calling on the Irish Government not to sign up to provisional application of the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), citing the investor court system elements of the treaty's potential impacts on public services, the environment and policy decisions.[9]

Higgins currently serves on the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach and the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Disability Matters.[10]

In December 2020, journalist Miriam Lord named Higgins 'Senator of the Year' "for her tireless approach, collegial outlook, level of research, grasp of detail, participation in debates and undimmed enthusiasm for the job."[11]

In the 25th Seanad Higgins served on the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action and the Join Oireachtas Committee on Employment Affairs and Social Protection.[10]

In 2021, Higgins introduced a motion to support the TRIPS Waiver on the COVID-19 vaccine, which was passed in the Seanad.[12]

Higgins tabled over 100 amendments to the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021 to strengthen emissions targets and place stronger requirements for climate justice and just transition in the Bill. Journalist Miriam Lord said Higgins’ work on the Bill “won universal praise” and that she “saw the global picture, knew her subject inside out, was detailed and logical and spent hours in the chamber.” [13]

In 2023, Higgins introduced the Climate Action and Biodiversity (Mandates of Certain Organisations) Bill, which would give Coillte and Bord na Mona - two of the largest landowners in Ireland - mandates for nature and climate action. The legislation would also require the bodies to enact just transition policies. [14]


  1. ^ "Alice-Mary Higgins". Oireachtas Members Database. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b McTeirnan, Anthea (24 February 2016). "President's daughter to stand for Seanad". The Irish Times. Dublin. Archived from the original on 14 April 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  3. ^ "About Me". Archived from the original on 3 May 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Absence of flip-flops and Renault cars means the media committee can't pull the crowds anymore". The Irish Times. 30 September 2023. Retrieved 17 October 2023.
  5. ^ "Patter of tiny feet expected at the Áras amid happy news aplenty". The Irish Times. 29 April 2023.
  6. ^ a b O'Halloran, Marie; Collins, Stephen (27 April 2016). "Former justice minister Michael McDowell wins Seanad seat". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 28 April 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  7. ^ "Senator Alice-Mary Higgins to contest European elections". RTÉ News. 8 April 2019. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  8. ^ "About EPF". (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 6 September 2021. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Government Seanad defeat as FF abstain in Higgins trade motion". The Irish Times.
  10. ^ a b "Senator Alice-Mary Higgins". Archived from the original on 24 May 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  11. ^ "Miriam Lord's Political Awards 2020: the winners and losers". Archived from the original on 9 January 2021. Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  12. ^ Cunningham, Paul (15 December 2021). "Seanad passes motion over Covid-19 vaccine waiver". RTÉ.ie.
  13. ^ {{Cite web|title=The tough get going as the 33rd Dáilympics wraps up|url=
  14. ^ name=“”