I remember the moment that I learned about climate change, or the ‘greenhouse effect’ as it was called in the late 1980s. I was terrified. Since then, very little has been done to bend the emissions curve. But I was left with an overwhelming desire to work for environmental protection and climate justice. When I was asked to stand on a green ticket in 1991, I stepped up, even though I was still a student at Trinity. I’ve spent the last three decades stepping up. As a mother, an academic and an activist, I will bring passion, expertise and experience to the Seanad.

I have a proven track record of working with people in all parties and none and a reputation for research excellence and coalition building.

  • Member of the DCU Centre for Climate and Society lecturing undergraduate and postgraduate students in climate change policy and politics.

  • Former Green Party councillor – Elected to Dublin City Council in 1991

  • BA TCD 1993, MA UCD 2015 and currently PhD candidate at UCD in climate change ethics and policy.

  • Certificate in Renewable Energy from the Tipperary Institute 2003

  • Worked for Friends of the Earth and Stop Climate Chaos

  • Campaign coordinator for Climate Case Ireland which pursued a successful legal challenge against the Irish government over climate policy.

  • Worked in the Oireachtas for Independents for Change group (Thomas Pringle TD) as policy advisor on the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action 2018-20.

  • Served as  Environmental Awareness Officer for Kilkenny County Council


  • Not affiliated with, or a member of any political party.

WHY AM I STANDING for the seanad?

Last November I attended COP26 in Glasgow where world leaders were supposed to be negotiating for the future of our planet. I heard despair and loss being faced by communities who are on the front line of the climate crisis. 

But there are solutions; and they’ve been around for decades. I also heard in Glasgow from innovators and problem solvers, communities, organisations and companies that are working to turn things around.

The public investment in climate action is an opportunity to transform our cities, build affordable housing, restore our farmland and rural communities. This will take courage, patience and persuasion but it will deliver more, for more people in Ireland. 

As a spokesperson for environmental and climate action for over 3 decades I want to ensure this agenda has a voice in all public policy and spending decisions. This is why I’m running as a candidate for the Trinity Seanad, so I can bring these ideas and solutions and put them firmly on the political agenda in the Oireachtas. I look forward to winning your support.






For media inquiries contact press@sadhbhoneill.com 

Tel: 087 2258599

"we have a duty to

safeguard our world"

My Seanad agenda

1. Prioritise fast and fair action for climate and biodiversity.

The biodiversity and climate crises are the defining issues of our time. To address them we need political leadership, policy expertise and public dialogue. Ireland’s landscape and biodiversity are under increasing pressure from air and water pollution and unsustainable land-use practises, but the Government is not taking this crisis seriously enough. We learned during the pandemic that delaying action is costly and dangerous, and that scientific expertise is vital to good decision-making. But we need to build public trust and ensure that all climate actions are implemented fairly for all..

2. Put environmental justice at the centre of all government policy.

Environmental justice should be the cornerstone of everything we do. Vulnerable groups often experience lower environmental standards, whether that be in the form of poor air quality, lack of green space, cold and damp housing and lack of affordable healthy food choices locally. Poor air quality alone is responsible for up to 1,300 premature deaths in Ireland every year and other forms of pollution contribute to a variety of health conditions (even Covid), stress and mental health problems. Climate policies should be designed to improve access to public services for all. The next iteration of the Climate Action Plan later in 2022 must be poverty proofed to ensure that it provides for security and prosperity for all.

3. Give young people a better future.

Young people are increasingly disenfranchised and locked out of housing and job security. Short-term policy decisions are robbing children of a high-quality environment and a stable economic future. We are not handing the Earth on to them in a fit state. They deserve a stronger and louder voice in all decision-making. I will work to lower the voting age in general and local elections to 16, and work to establish an ombudsman for future generations.  It’s a question of intergenerational and environmental fairness. Giving younger people the vote strengthens our democracy and commits us all to working for their futures.

4. End housing inequality.

Everyone should have the right to a home, to an affordable rent and to a choice of location near jobs, schools and other services. The crisis in housing both in terms of supply and affordability is deepening inequalities and creating legacies of disadvantage.  We should take this opportunity to build communities, not just houses, but in the short term I will campaign for rent caps and measures to increase the supply of rental property. I support simplifying the planning system, greening buildings and architecture, with priority given to the repurposing of existing buildings. We will need new settlements and even towns to cater for our growing population. I want to see more focus on high density, high quality cost-rental housing and a mix and choice of housing and tenure types – co-ops, co-housing and eco-villages that are affordable for all, catering to people of all ages and needs, and linked to integrated public transport networks that reduce car dependency. Let’s shift the focus towards creating sustainable communities at all scales, including rural.

5. Curb the growing power of technology.

Technology is having a growing influence on every aspect of our lives, our social relationships and our tax base. The tech giants have increasing power over our access to news and information, but they are not subject to the same regulation as traditional media. Social media apps are increasingly being used to monitor and influence our behaviour, and our politics. New virtual reality platforms will give some companies ways to avoid being regulated and taxed altogether. There is mounting evidence of the negative effects of social media on young people, and on girls in particular. I want to see more regulation of social media to end abusive content and trolling, and to halt the spread of disinformation, including ‘greenwashing’.  We need to review our tax policies so that all industries contribute fairly to Irish society and that taxes don’t discriminate against developing countries.

1991 Election Photo
That’s me on the right, on arrival at City Hall after the local elections in June 1991.
Vote #1