Meet Rory

Rory Hearne is the Social Democrats candidate for the Midlands-North West Constituency in the European Parliament Elections 2024.

Rory is a leading expert on the Irish housing crisis and has been a central figure in the campaign for a right to housing in Ireland. He is an Associate Professor in Social Policy at Maynooth University where he has worked since 2013, and he is also the Author of best-selling book, ‘Gaffs’, which sets out a roadmap to solve the housing crisis. Rory is an expert on a range of areas in social policy including housing, economic inequality, poverty, fiscal policy, public services, and European social policy. He has also worked as an Economic Policy Analyst with the Think Tank, TASC.

Throughout his career, Rory has been a powerful and empathic voice for the generation locked out of housing in Ireland, whether he was standing up to vulture funds and working with the homeless and with tenants facing eviction, to working as an academic publishing several works in the areas of housing, homelessness, and social justice.

Rory began his academic journey at Trinity College Dublin where he studied geography, economics, and sociology. His undergraduate thesis was on the challenges facing the family farm in Ireland. He was also very active in student unions and served as President of the TCD Student Union during his time there. Rory carried out his PhD on public services, social housing and inequality and went on after to work for 6 years in community support in a social housing community in Dublin’s inner city.

Rory has a unique experience and understanding of both rural and urban Ireland. He originally comes from a small town in Tramore, Co. Waterford, and he spent his youth working on the family dairy farm until he was 20, when his father passed away. He also has strong connections to the Midlands North-West Constituency, through working in Kildare and teaching students who come from across the Constituency, as well as from spending a lot of time in south Co. Galway (supporting the St Thomas’ club), where his wife is from. Rory’s mother is also from Clonaslee in Co. Laois where Rory spent a lot of time as a child, and where many of his aunts and uncles still live.

For me, out of all the parties in Ireland, the Social Democrats have demonstrated that political will the most, and that’s why I’m proud to be running on behalf of the party in the European Elections this year 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 as MEP to pressure the Irish Government to implement the solutions to the housing crisis and bring about a fairer future for us all.

Rory’s Priorities

  • Solving the housing crisis for Generation Locked Out.
  • Ending homelessness.
  • Guaranteeing public services that work for everyone (healthcare, mental health, education, childcare, disability services, transport, community facilities).
  • Ensuring a sustainable future for all of our children through real climate action and investment in a socially just transition.
  • Ensure everyone benefits from the shift to a zero-carbon economy.
  • Advocate for a Europe which supports peace and an end to the genocide in Gaza.

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