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|Member of the Legislative Assembly|
for Belfast South
|Assumed office |
29 June 2015
|Preceded by||Alasdair McDonnell|
|Born||19 June 1980|
|Political party||Social Democratic and Labour Party|
|Alma mater||Open University|
Queen's University Belfast
Early Life and Education
Born in Connemara, County Galway, Hanna has lived in South Belfast since the age of three. She attended St Bride's Primary and Rathmore Grammar School. She has an honours degree in International Relations from the Open University and a master's degree in Law from Queen’s University Belfast. Her professional background is in international development, latterly in a policy and education role, and included work in Bangladesh, Haiti and Zambia.
She is married to Belfast SDLP Councillor Donal Lyons; the couple have three children.
Hanna was elected to Belfast City Council, representing the Balmoral ward, from 2011 until her appointment as MLA, winning re-election in 2014. During her time in council, she sat on the Strategic Policy & Resources and Town Planning committees as well as the Historic Centenaries Working group.
She brought the motion that led to Belfast becoming the first Living Wage council in Northern Ireland – paying a fair wage to all employees – and restricted use of Zero Hour Contracts- meaningful ways to tackle poverty and make work pay. She also successfully introduced measures to combat the rise of predatory payday lending. Claire also helped to change Belfast City Council procurement policies to allow exclusion of companies engaged in tax evasion- ensuring a fairer deal for the public purse and small local businesses. Hanna instigated Assembly Adjournment debates on small business rates, submitted comprehensive proposals to restore vibrancy and entrepreneurship to the local shopping streets. As well as leading successful campaigns for the reinstatement of Lisburn Road Post Office in 2013, better traffic management in Finaghy in 2014 and on a variety of issues like improving recycling facilities and sustainable transport.
She secured all-party agreement to award the Freedom of Belfast to poet Michael Longley. She initiated a campaign to name the new Greenway bridge after playwright and trade unionist Sam Thompson. In the Assembly, she serves on the Regional Development Committee, the Public Accounts Committee and the Environment Committee. She established and chairs the Assembly All Party Groups on International Development and the Arts. To provide a dedicated advocacy forum for the Arts, which provide colour, jobs and completely shared spaces.
Hanna sponsored the November 2015 motion that gained the first Assembly majority for Equal Civil Marriage with full protection for churches. Hanna helped bring the motion to the Assembly outlining costed, sensible proposals to provide meaningful support on childcare costs for working families- helping keep women and skills in the workplace.
During the same period, Hanna was chair of the East Belfast Policing Board and Community Partnership. Her home was attacked in the midst of the flag protests.
In February 2019, Hanna resigned the party whip after the SDLP agreed to form an electoral alliance with Fianna Fáil. She also quit as the party’s Brexit spokesperson. However, she remains a member of the SDLP. 
- "SDLP's Claire Hanna to replace Alasdair McDonnell at Stormont". Belfast Telegraph. 25 June 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
- "About Claire". Claire Hanna. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
- "Claire Hanna MLA – SDLP". Archived from the original on 6 October 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- "Michael Longley: Poet honoured with Freedom of Belfast". BBC News. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- "Sam bridges the gap in east Belfast as public tweets its approval". Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- "The Northern Ireland Assembly". Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- "Unionist backing for SDLP councillor". M.newsletter.co.uk. 8 January 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
- "SDLP councillor Claire Hanna's home attacked". BBC News. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
- "Claire Hanna resigns SDLP whip". Retrieved 14 March 2019.
|Northern Ireland Assembly|
| MLA for Belfast South