- Rónán Mullen, independent senator (NUI panel)
- Seanad Eireann (2007 – present)
- A strong independent voice
‘Everybody counts or nobody counts’
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Rónán has served continuously in the Seanad since first being elected in 2007 on the NUI panel. He was re-elected in 2011, 2016 and 2020. In 2020 he topped the poll with over 9,600 first preference votes.
Rónán dedicates his time primarily to social justice and human rights issues. He is a member of three Committees in the current Seanad/Oireachtas, namely the Committee on Education, Further & Higher Education, Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, Committee on Irish Language, Gaeltacht and the Irish-speaking Community.
Rónán has served an independent member of the Irish parliamentary delegation to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, where he joined the European People’s Party (Christian Democrat) group, the largest political group represented in the Council of Europe.
He was appointed Rapporteur on ‘The Provision of Palliative Care in Europe’, a report commissioned by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health, and Sustainable Development of the Council of Europe. His report on the Provision of Palliative Care in Europe was unanimously adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly in November 2018.
Ronan grew up and now lives in Ahascragh, Co Galway.
He attended primary school in Kilglass National School and secondary school in Holy Rosary College in Mountbellew. He obtained a BA degree in English and French from University College Galway (now NUI Galway). Rónán was elected President of UCG Students’ Union in 1991–92. He obtained a master’s degree in Journalism from Dublin City University in 1993.
He worked for a year in Liberties Vocational School before becoming Administration Officer for Academic and Student Affairs in Dundalk Regional Technical College (now Dundalk Institute of Technology). From 1996 to 2001, Rónán worked in the Communications Office of the Archdiocese of Dublin and was a spokesperson for the Archdiocese and Cardinal Desmond Connell. He was appointed lecturer in the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown (now TU Dublin, Blanchardstown), and was called to the Irish Bar in 2003.
Since 2007 he has continuously served as an independent senator in Seanad Eireann. In 2011 he became the first NUI Senator to be appointed to the Council of Europe, and only the second Independent Senator ever to be appointed.
- Defence of fundamental rights and freedoms especially the right to life, freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of conscience and the equality of all before the law.
- Protection for the elderly, for the economically vulnerable and for new life, and support for improved end-of-life/palliative care in hospitals.
- Fighting for the needs of victims of human trafficking and highlighting our responsibilities to less well-off nations.
- Seeking support for the family, which is critical to children’s growth and development, and for State structures to support, not control, people’s lives.
- Respect for faith communities and for the vital contribution these make to social cohesion.
- Preparing young people for ethical leadership.