Dr Rory Hearne: a voice for housing, homelessness & social justice

The Independent candidate for the Seanad
NUI Panel


I am an Assistant Professor/Lecturer in Social Policy in the Department of Applied Social Studies, Maynooth University. I am a published author, researcher, policy analyst and active campaigner on issues of housing, inequality, politics, social policy, and human rights. I am also a busy dad with four children, ages 11 months, 4, 6 and 15.

Vote Hearne No1 for

Housing & Homelessness Expertise & Solutions

Academic Research & Policy Experience in addressing poverty & inequality

Active commitment to pursuing real change for equality, inclusion and sustainability


What I stand for

If elected to the Seanad, Rory Hearne will work to achieve the following:

Plan and policies to end homelessness – Setting up a Home Building Agency – A referendum to insert the Right to Housing in the Constitution – A Poverty Act to set targets and plan to eliminate poverty by 2030 – A Green New Deal measures to reduce our carbon emissions by 10% per annum and achieve a socially just transition – Measures to support marginalised groups in society & end discrimination particularly, gender, race, ethnicity, disability, social class – Measures to achieve an equal society

I pledge to support and work to implement the policies outlined in the National Women’s Council of Ireland Feminist Ireland Manifesto 2020; the Children’s Rights Alliance #EveryChildEveryChance Pledge; the Wheel Stronger Communities, Stronger Ireland Pledge; the Raise the Roof Election Pledge; National Homeless and Housing Coalition Pledge;  and the One Future Pledge for Faster and Fairer Climate Action

Why I'm Standing for the Seanad

I am standing as an Independent candidate in the Seanad NUI panel because I want to bring my experience, expertise and commitment to make a major contribution to solving our housing and homeless crisis. I have consistently highlighted the devastating personal, societal and economic impacts of the crisis, and researched, developed, and proposed many solutions

I also want to highlight solutions that can address our unacceptable levels of inequality and poverty, promote a universal quality public health system, affordable and quality childcare, for an adequately supported and funded higher education system, for positive action to address the climate emergency, and for an enhanced democracy through reform of the Seanad and real support and recognition for civil society, community development and citizen participation

I believe that we need representatives in the Seanad who have experience, policy and political knowledge, commitment and willingness to contribute to substantive positive change

I have shown through my voluntary and paid work and campaigning over twenty years that I have the motivation, expertise and passion to be a strong and passionate voice for social justice and real change

Seanad Reform

The Seanad must be reformed to be inclusive of all voters

It is undemocratic, exclusive and restricted currently


Full list of nominators for Rory Hearne

Professor Niamh Hourigan, Mary Immaculate Limerick

Professor Kathleen Lynch. UCD Equality Studies Centre, School of Education. Founding Professor and Chair of Equality Studies 2003-2018.

Prof Michelle Norris. Professor of Social Policy, School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, UCD.

Prof Maurice Devlin. Head of Department of Applied Social Studies, Maynooth University.

Dr Seamus Taylor. Lecturer, Department of Applied Social Studies, Maynooth University.

Dr Joe Larragy. Department of Applied Social Studies, Maynooth University.

Macdara Doyle .

Rachel Mullen. Values Lab.

Louise Bayliss.

Ann-Marie O Rielly. Policy Officer Threshold.

John Reynolds. Department of Law, Maynooth University.

Professor Cathal O’Connell. Head of School, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork.

Prof Hugh Frazer. Adjunct, Maynooth University.

Dr Padraic Kenna. School of Law, NUI Galway.

Mel Reynolds. Architect.

Orla O’Donovan. School of Applied Social Studies, UCC
Macdara Doyle, ICTU.

I would urge people to vote for Rory Hearne for the Seanad. He would bring a passionate, articulate and informed voice to some of the most pressing issues facing our country: poverty and inequality, housing and homelessness, a failing health service, the climate crisis, the need for better public services. Rory's track record as both an academic, policy analyst and a campaigner on these issues is exceptional. If elected he would ensure that the issue of social justice is at the heart of the Seanad's agenda and debates and would be a strong voice for progressive change in Ireland

Hugh Frazer, Adjunct Professor Maynooth University and former director of the Combat Poverty Agency

I am proud to nominate Rory as a candidate for election to the Seanad. Rory’s informed contribution to public discourse, on the action required to address the worsening housing and homelessness crisis is exactly what we need in the Seanad to inform political debate and proposed solutions to address this crisis. Rory’s commitment and expertise would bring an invaluable contribution to the Seanad.As an experienced and passionate advocate, working for many years to address inequality, if elected, Rory will be a voice for the voiceless.

Rachel Mullen, Values Lab

I am very pleased to nominate Dr Rory Hearne for the Seanad Election on the NUI panel. Rory will bring both an excellent analysis of and steadfast commitment to issues of social and economic justice. In particular Rory can provide an informed and experienced contribution to understanding and tackling the housing crisis, a contribution that is much needed in our Oireachtas today

Dr Seamus Taylor, Lecturer, Social Policy, Maynooth University

It gives me great pleasure to nominate Dr. Rory Hearne to the NUI Panel for Seanad Éireann. More than anyone else, Rory has been at the forefront in using evidence-based research to highlight the depth of the current housing crisis in Ireland. I believe Rory can make a vital contribution to Seanad Éireann not only by representing the interests of NUI graduates but also by articulating the wider concerns of Irish citizens struggling with various forms of inequality

Prof. Niamh Hourigan, Sociologist, NUI graduate, Vice President Academic Affairs Mary Immaculate College, Limerick,

Rory Hearne has shown long term dedication and commitment to improving people’s lives. His work on improving housing access, standards and affordability has been an inspiration to many people in Ireland. The housing situation for most people in Ireland would greatly benefit from Rory’s input into national legislation, and I am very pleased to be able to nominate him for Seanad Eireann

Dr Seamus Taylor, Lecturer, Social Policy, Maynooth University

A Senator who will work with everyone to bring about real change

If elected I will be a Senator who will work with everyone who is willing to come together and solve the housing crisis. I will seek to bring together political representatives, civil society, NGOs, housing authorities, academics, cooperatives, to identify the barriers, the potential solutions and propose legislative changes that can solve the crisis. I will propose legislation for a right to housing, and for a referendum to put the Right to Housing in the Irish Constitution. I will propose a Poverty Act, that will set a target to end poverty and monitor the meeting of these targets. I will raise and campaign for issues such as quality & affordable childcare, community development, adequate funding for higher education, and measures to radically shift our society and economy to meet environmental sustainability and climate change requirements to avoid climate catastrophe and biodiversity loss.

I will be a representative and a voice that will hold government to account, raise the issues of civil society and excluded voices, and work damn hard to make this a Republic of Equality for all

Recent publications, policy initiatives and campaigns I have been involved in...

I am part of the steering group of the Home For Good Campaign which is campaigning for a Referendum to include the Right to Housing in the Constitution. Groups I have been working with in this campaign include, the Simon Communities, Focus Ireland, Threshold, the Mercy Law Centre and many others

I have written a book called ‘Housing Shock: The Irish Housing Crisis and How to Solve It – which is centred on making the case for a major shift in our housing system to provide a rights based, affordable, environmentally sustainable, and community orientated housing system. This will be published in June 2020

I have researched and highlighted with my colleague in Maynooth, Dr Mary Murphy, the devastating impact of homelessness on families and children, and proposed measures to end homelessness

And highlighted and raised the issue of the housing and homelessness articles in various media

My Blog

Reboot Republic Podcast

Almost two years ago I started a Podcast with Tony Groves to highlight the solutions to various social and economic crises, inequality, social exclusion, and climate change. Since then we have done over 100 episodes with interviews with many people from civil society and academia in Ireland and abroad including Naoimi Klein, the UN Rapportuer on the Right to Housing, the Children’s Ombudsman, the chair of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, Richard Wilkinson author of the Spirit Level, Prof John Sweeney of Maynooth, the Irish Wheelchair Association, the Nevin Economic Research Institute, Dr Lorna Gold, and many more.

You can see and listen to the podcasts here:

Contact Me

If you have any comments or questions about my candidacy or just want to say “hi” because you love sending e-mails then email me at rory.hearne@mu.ie

I look forward to hearing from you.