Grace O'Sullivan

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Grace O'Sullivan
Assumed office
27 April 2016
ConstituencyAgricultural Panel
Personal details
BornTramore, County Waterford, Ireland
Political partyGreen Party
Other political
Civil Engagement group
Alma materOpen University

Grace O'Sullivan (born 6 May 1961) is an Irish Green Party politician who has served as a Senator for the Agricultural Panel since April 2016. O'Sullivan is best known for her high-profile activism during her 20-year career with Greenpeace. She is a former Irish surfing champion and has worked for the past number of years as an environmental education specialist and ecologist.


O'Sullivan was born in County Waterford, Ireland, where she grew up on the coastal sea-front of Tramore, close to the back strand and the surrounding countryside, an environment which she says was very influential on her life and her particular love of nature and the sea.[1]

She joined Tramore Sea and Cliff Rescue at an early age, and by the age of 18 was a helmsman with the Tramore RNLI; this experience was to help in her later Greenpeace work. She spent five summers as a lifeguard with Waterford County Council, patrolling Tramore beach during the summer months.

She was a keen sportswoman at school. She has retained enthusiasm for surfing. One of the early devotees of the sport in Ireland, O'Sullivan went on to become Ireland’s first National Female Surf Champion in 1981.[1]

In 1983 she took up a position with Greenpeace. She was to spend the next 20 years working with the organisation in areas that included almost 10 years on various Greenpeace ships. She was a crew member of the original Rainbow Warrior when it was bombed in New Zealand in 1985 by French Intelligence.[2] She was involved in many campaigns covering a wide range of environmental and peace issues. She also worked as assistant to Campaign Director and as Human Resources Manager for Greenpeace International.

In addition to working full-time at Greenpeace, O'Sullivan took a Life Long Learning Programme with the Open University, gaining qualifications in Management Studies.

She ran as the Green MEP candidate for the Ireland South constituency in the 2014 European election.[3]

She was elected as a Senator in 2016. She currently sits with 5 other senators in the Civil Engagement group.


  1. ^ a b "Amazing Grace | Munster Express Online". 2008-09-19. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  2. ^ John Drennan – Updated 8 March 2014 07:51 PM (2014-03-08). "New Green Euro candidate climbed anchor of nuclear ship". Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  3. ^ "'Our dream team': Here are the Green Party candidates for the European elections". 2014-01-13. Retrieved 2014-03-26.