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Mary Lou McDonald

Leader of the Opposition in Ireland & President of Sinn Féin
Address to the National Press Club of Australia
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Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Arrival 11:30am, Lunch served 12pm, Address commences 12:30pm, Concludes 1:30pm

The National Press Club of Australia

Mary Lou McDonald, Leader of Sinn Féin and Leader of the Opposition in the Irish Parliament will Address the National Press Club of Australia. 

Mary Lou McDonald has been leader of Sinn Féin since February 2018 and has served as Leader of the Opposition in the Irish Parliament since 2020.  She is the first woman to ever hold that office.


Sinn Féin is now the largest party on the island of Ireland.  In the General Election in the south of Ireland  in 2020,  she led the party to its most successful outcome in modern history.  Sinn Féin got the highest share of the vote outpolling both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael – who have held power in the State for 100 years. Sinn Féin support has continued to grow strongly since that time.  In the recent northern Assembly elections Sinn Féin became the largest party for the first time with Michelle O’Neill elected as First Minister designate.


She recently said “We’re a party that’s serious about reshaping and changing Ireland, and for that to happen we have to be in government.”  Her two driving political priorities are Irish re-unification and equality.


She is one of a new generation of republican leaders focused on delivering real change – tackling the housing crisis, delivering proper healthcare, supporting people during this cost of living crisis and stepping up to deal with the climate emergency.  In recent months she has been on a diplomatic offensive in the US, EU and Britain saying that now is the time to plan, prepare and build a new and United Ireland.  She has been strongly critical of the reckless behaviour of the Boris Johnson government in London in undermining the Irish Protocol and the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement causing huge political and economic instability in Ireland.


She has been a member of the Irish Parliament for Dublin Central since 2011 and was previously a member of the European Parliament.  She is married and has two teenage children and is a graduate of Trinity College and did a Masters in European Integration in the University of Limerick.


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