Liadh Ní Riada

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Liadh Ní Riada

Liadh Ní Riada MLA Oct 2018 (close cropped).jpg
Member of the European Parliament
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Personal details
Born (1966-11-28) 28 November 1966 (age 52)
Dublin, Ireland
Political party Irish:
Sinn Féin
Fiachra Ó hAodha
(m. 1996; died 1997)

Nicky Forde (m. 2012)
RelationsSeán Ó Riada (Father)
Alma mater
WebsiteOfficial website
Campaign website

Liadh Ní Riada (pronounced [ˈl̠ʲiə niː ˈɾʲiəd̪ˠə]; born 28 November 1966)[1] is an Irish politician who has served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Ireland since 2014. She is a member of Sinn Féin, part of the European United Left–Nordic Green Left. She was the Sinn Féin candidate in the 2018 presidential election.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Ní Riada was born in Dublin, but raised in West Cork. Ní Riada is the daughter of composer Seán Ó Riada, who died when she was four. Her mother died when she was 10.[3] She resides in Ballyvourney in the Muskerry Gaeltacht area in County Cork, with her second husband, Nicky Forde, and three daughters. She was married to Fiachra Ó hAodha for 10 months until his death in 1997.[3] She is a native speaker of the Irish language.[4]

Media career[edit]

Ní Riada is a former television producer and director and she served on the board tasked with setting up TG4, the Irish language television channel. She has directed and produced several documentaries, and ran her own production company for several years. Ní Riada has described herself as passionate about heritage and culture, and she has been a vocal advocate for Irish language rights.

Political career[edit]

Ní Riada's involvement in politics began in 2011[5] when she joined Sinn Féin as the party's national Irish language officer, having been inspired by her first husband Fiachra to get involved in politics.[6] Three years later, in 2014, Ní Riada was selected as the Sinn Féin candidate for the South constituency for the 2014 European Parliament elections.

European Parliament[edit]

Ní Riada ran her 2014 campaign for the European Parliament on an anti-austerity message, calling for job creation and an end to forced emigration from Ireland. During the campaign, she also raised awareness of the increase in child poverty in Ireland, and the need for rural regeneration. She secured 125,309 first preference votes, the second highest of all MEPs in Ireland, and was elected on the fourth count with 132,590 votes.[7]

As an MEP, Ní Riada sits on three Committees of the European Parliament: Budgets (BUDG), Culture and Education (CULT), and Fisheries (PECH).

She is a coordinator for the GUE/NGL group on the Budgets Committee. She has called for the committee to take a more social approach towards the EU Budget and has condemned the EUs move towards militarisation and its increase in military spending.

On the committee on Culture and Education, Ní Riada has highlighted what she called the "language discrimination" in the EU. Through this committee, she has highlighted what she called the "hardships" many artists have to go through to earn a living. Since 2017 Ní Riada has been a member of the Culture and Educations Brexit monitoring group.

On the Fisheries Committee, she has called for a "fairer deal" for Irish fishermen. Ní Riada has been critical of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), saying that she believes Irish fisheries have not received their fair share of the fishing quota. Ní Riada has also campaigned for measures to reduce plastic pollution, particularly in the oceans.[8]

2018 presidential election[edit]

On 16 September 2018, Ní Riada was selected by Sinn Féin to contest the upcoming Irish presidential election.[2] The party, in deciding to challenge incumbent Michael D. Higgins, said there was "an appetite for political and social change" in Ireland.[9]

Ní Riada's campaign focused on the Irish language, a united Ireland, and social justice.[5] She called for the presidential salary to be cut in half and said that she would only serve a single presidential term if elected.[10]

Ni Ríada received 6.38% of first preference votes in the election which was held on 26 October 2018.


  1. ^ "Seán Ó Riada Collection Descriptive List" (PDF). University College Cork Library. July 2006. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Sinn Féin nominates Liadh Ní Riada to contest the Presidential Election". RTÉ. 16 September 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Liadh Ní Riada named as Sinn Féin candidate for presidency". The Irish Times. 17 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Liadh Ní Riada MEP". SinnFé Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  5. ^ a b McGee, Harry (17 October 2018). "Liadh Ní Riada as close as you could get to the image SF wants to project right now". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  6. ^ Kelly, Fiach (16 September 2018). "Profile: Liadh Ní Riada's rapid Sinn Féin ascent". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  7. ^ Roche, Barry (26 May 2014). "Ireland South: Crowley and Ní Riada elected". The Irish Times. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  8. ^ "Ireland-South MEP says 90% of plastic pollution ends up in the ocean". 2 June 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Sinn Féin to challenge Higgins in Irish presidential election". 14 July 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Ní Riada says presidential salary should be halved". 12 October 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2018.

External links[edit]