Rory Hearne, the highly respected housing campaigner, author and academic, has been officially selected as the Social Democrats’ Midlands-North-West candidate in the European Elections.

Rory is Associate Professor in Social Policy at Maynooth University and author of the best-selling book, ‘Gaffs’, which set out a roadmap to solving the housing crisis.

Considered to be one of the leading experts on the Irish housing crisis, Rory been a central figure in the campaign for a right to housing in Ireland. From standing up to vulture funds to working with the homeless and tenants facing eviction, he has been a powerful and empathic voice for the generation locked out of housing in Ireland.

Speaking after his selection, Rory said:

“Across Ireland, we are experiencing a social and economic catastrophe in the form of the housing crisis. There is an entire generation of people locked out of buying a home; trapped in a cycle of extortionate rents; stuck living in their childhood bedrooms; forced to emigrate; and, even worse, pushed into homelessness.

“As a dad of young children, it breaks my heart that there are still thousands of children in Ireland living in homelessness, growing up in hotels and in family hubs. Like all parents, I worry every day about what the future is going to look like for our children, from the housing crisis to the environment and the growing divide in Ireland.

“As an academic in Maynooth for over 10 years, I have seen how the housing, environmental and cost of living crises have impacted on students and people living in Kildare and across the Midlands-North-West constituency. I’ve been contacted by people from across the constituency, from Laois to Donegal, who are living the crisis and looking for solutions and hope.

“And there is hope. With enough political will, the housing crisis can be solved. For me, out of all the parties in Ireland, the Social Democrats have demonstrated that political will the most. That’s why I’m proud to be running on behalf of the party in the European Elections this year.

“As an MEP, I want to stand up for generation locked out by bringing the housing crisis to the top of the political agenda in Europe, and by using my role to put pressure on the Irish Government to implement the solutions and bring about a fairer future for us all.”

Welcoming Rory’s selection, Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns said:

“Rory has been a prominent voice on the most important issue facing Ireland today. He advocates for those most affected by the housing crisis and is absolutely dedicated to ensuring that Ireland becomes a country where this and future generations can afford to call home.

“EU policy decisions affect every aspect of our lives and our communities. What happens in Brussels or Strasbourg can help deliver social and affordable housing, improve workers’ rights and bring down energy costs.

“While there is lot Europe could do, we need strong voices like Rory’s to make it a reality. I have no doubt that, if elected, he will stand up to corporate interests and campaign for the change we need to see in Ireland.”

March 12, 2024

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