Averil Power

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Averil Power
Averil Power 2.jpg
Senator
Incumbent
Assumed office
April 2011
Constituency Industrial and Commercial Panel
Personal details
Born (1978-07-26) 26 July 1978 (age 37)
Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Independent (since May 2015)
Other political
affiliations
Fianna Fáil
Spouse(s) Fionnan Sheahan
Alma mater Trinity College, Dublin
Website www.averilpower.ie

Averil Power (born 26 July 1978) is an Irish independent politician.[1] She was elected to the 24th Seanad in April 2011 by the Industrial and Commercial Panel for Fianna Fáil.[2] From 2011 until 2015 she served as the Fianna Fáil Seanad spokesperson on Education and Skills.

Early and personal life[edit]

She grew up in a council estate and is the first person in her family to finish school and go to college.[3]

She has a degree in Business, Economics and Social Science from Trinity College, Dublin, where she was elected to the positions of President (2001–02) and Education Officer (2000–01) of Trinity College Dublin Students' Union.[4] She also has a Diploma in Legal Studies from Honorable Society of Kings Inns and is a graduate of the Boston College Political Leadership Programme.[5] She unsuccessfully contested election for President of the Union of Students in Ireland in March 2002, losing out to DIT student Colm Jordan.[6]

She is married to Irish Independent Editor Fionnan Sheahan.[7]

Political career[edit]

Power first sought election to public office at the 2009 Local and European elections, contesting election for Fianna Fáil in the Howth-Malahide local electoral area of Fingal County Council. She was unsuccessful, coming seventh with 7.46% of the vote.[8] During this period she was employed as a political adviser by Minister Mary Hanafin in the Departments of Tourism, Social and Family Affairs and Education on a salary reported to be €100,191 per year plus pension contribution.[9][10][11] She remained a political adviser to Hanafin until the 2011 General Election.[12]

In February 2011, prior to the General Election, Fianna Fáil Leader Micheal Martin appointed Power directly to his Front Bench, in doing so breaking the convention that members of the Front Bench hold elected office.[13] Power contested the Dublin North–East constituency at the 2011 general election but was not elected. In a three-seat constituency, she polled fourth on the first count, receiving 4,794 first preference votes (11.5%).[14]

In March 2011, following her failure to secure a seat in General Election, Micheal Martin nominated Power via the Oireachtas panel to contest the 2011 Seanad Election on the Industrial and Commercial Vocational Panel.[15] She was elected, polling 75 votes.[16]

Since her election to the Seanad, Power has advocated a number of issues including education, social justice, mental health and LGBT equality. She was awarded a GALA for 'Politician of the Year' by the National LGBT Federation in 2014.[17] She has also produced policy papers on youth mental health[18] and increasing female representation in politics.[19]

She has spoken out about her experience as an adopted person and is campaigning for all Irish adoptees to have a right to their birth certs.[20]

She has an interest in development issues and volunteered in Mozambique with Voluntary Service Overseas in August 2011.[21]

She also visited the Occupied Palestinian territories with Christian Aid in 2013 and has been a vocal advocate of the rights of the Palestinian people. She proposed a motion recognizing the State of Palestine which was passed by the Irish Senate in October 2014.[22] She is a Jury member for the global Frontline Defenders human rights awards.[23]

She has announced her intention to run for the Dáil again in the next general election in the newly created Dublin Bay North Constituency.[24]

Departure from Fianna Fáil[edit]

On 25 May 2015, Power announced that she was leaving the Fianna Fáil party, citing differences over how the party handled the Marriage equality referendum.[25][26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ms. Averil Power". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Senators elected to the new Seanad". RTÉ News. 29 April 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "A new voice, working for the people of Dublin North East". Fianna Fáil. 
  4. ^ "Discrepancies in TCD Exams". Irish Independent, February 07, 2001; P: 4. 
  5. ^ "Linkedin Averil Power". 
  6. ^ "New Leader for Students' Union". Irish Independent, March 21, 2002; P: 43. 
  7. ^ "Miriam Lord's Week". The Irish Times. 2 April 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "Local Elections 2009". Elections Ireland. 
  9. ^ "Teacher's Pet". The Irish Times. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "Advisers to Minister Mary Hanafin". Sunday Independent, December 20, 2009; P: 1. 
  11. ^ "Taxpayer to foot €10m wages bill for advisers". Sunday Independent, July 27, 2008; P1. 
  12. ^ "FF draws up shortlist as Woods bows out". Irish Independent, January 07, 2011; Section: News. 
  13. ^ "Martin stands by his promotion of 14 rookies to new-look frontbench". Irish Independent, Tuesday, February 01, 2011; Section: News. 
  14. ^ "Averil Power". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "Martin plans purge of older senators to freshen party image". Irish Independent, March 02, 2011; P1. 
  16. ^ "Industrial and Commercial Panel". Elections Ireland. 
  17. ^ "GALA". 
  18. ^ "Fianna Fail National Youth Mental Health Strategy" (PDF). 
  19. ^ "Fianna Fail Gender Equality Plan 2013-2018". 
  20. ^ "Petition for The Minister for Children & The Irish Government to Give All Irish Adoptees Rights to Birth Certs". 
  21. ^ "Averil to spend summer recess in Mozambique". Fingal Independent. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  22. ^ "Irish Times : Seanad Motion Urging Recognition for State of Palestine Agreed". 
  23. ^ "Front Line Defenders facebook post". 
  24. ^ "Irish Times: Averil Power Criticises Government Disrespect of Democracy". 
  25. ^ "Fianna Fáil’s Averil Power to leave party.". 
  26. ^ "Averil Power quits Fianna Fáil party". RTÉ News. 25 May 2015. 

External links[edit]