Marian is currently a sitting MEP in the Northwest constituency.
Married with two sons she was educated at Ballintogher National School. "I was so lucky to have had Philomena Dowling Long RIP and Paddy Downey RIP as my teachers. Marist Convent, Tubbercurry, where I was taught by strong independent women both lay and religious".
B.Sc (Mathematics) University College Dublin1976; Higher Diploma in Education - University College Dublin 1977.
Successfully lead the campaign to have 2011 designated ‘The European Year on Volunteering’ and my proposal that volunteer time can be used as matching funding is now in place in EU projects.
My proposal that all heavy goods vehicles be retro fitted with blind spot mirrors is now part of EU law and will save lives.
I have had a number of successful outcomes on environmental cases for Irish citizens.
I along with others led a successful campaign on the ban on Brazilian beef.
I am co-founder and co-president of the European Parliament Carers Interest Group and have been successful in getting Family Carers recognised for the first time on the EU policy age
Interesting Fact: I play guitar; I used to play competitive basketball I was “Mama” in Viva Mexico & a barmaid in Coventry.
Interests: Reading, playing cards, choral singing, relaxing with family. Also, I am on a Leitrim senior football team – or at least so it says on a plaque in Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon – figure that one out?
Dáil Deputy, Independent for Sligo
Former Chair Council for the West
Why Vote for Marian Harkin
From my experience of politics I believe that Irish people want their MEPs to be hard working, to be available and responsive to the needs of their constituents and to work in their best interests. I have endeavoured to do that since elected in 2004.
I run a full time office and have done so for the last five years. I do regular clinics in all counties, attend meetings where at all possible, visit schools, involve community and voluntary organisations and other organisations in the EU Commission consultation process, bring local groups and individuals to visit the European Commission to make their case or petition the European Parliament. In short I make every effort to involve ordinary people in influencing, questioning or petitioning the EU. There is a lot of talk about Brussels being distant from ordinary people and about the democratic deficit so I work hard to make the connection between the EU and my constituents.
As far as my work in Brussels and Strasbourg is concerned I have through my Committee and Parliamentary work been centrally involved in many issues that are important to Ireland and I have as an individual MEP achieved a number of successes.
On my main Committee – Regional Development, I wrote the opinion on Rural Development (worth 2.33bn to Ireland over 7 years) and the opinion for the Budget which included €66million for Peace Funds to Ireland – I am not claiming the credit for this funding but I played my part. On the Employment and Social Affairs Committee one of my main objectives has been to have Carers recognised as workers and indeed following our submissions from the Carers Interest Group (which I founded with Kathy Sinnott) the EU Commission have named Family Carers as part of the EU workforce for Health. At a policy level this is significant. Also on this Committee I have consistently championed the rights of persons with disabilities, anti-discrimination legislation and gender equality.
As a member of the Petitions Committee I have supported very many Irish petitions and indeed on two recent petitions, equity of water charges for farmers and ensuring adequate levels of vitamins in supplements, we are making progress. As part of my work in the Parliament I make every effort to try to use EU legislation on behalf of citizens and I have been very happy with some of the outcomes. Two examples include the success of the Eyrecourt Anti Sludge Group who, with my help and the help of the EU Commission succeeded in getting Galway County Council to agree that planning permission and an Environmental Impact Assessment are necessary and as of now the sludge facility operating in Eyrecourt has closed. Also we received a positive outcome for those who opposed the siting of a dump in Meenabole, Co. Donegal.
One of my main areas of work outside my Committees in the Parliament has been the campaign that I successfully led to have 2011 designated as the European Year on Volunteering. I am really looking forward to continuing my work with voluntary groups all over Europe and in particular in Ireland to ensure that we get real European added value from the year. In this context I want to thank all the voluntary groups and networks that have worked with me in drafting my report on Volunteering and helping to ensure our success on 2011.
I am very happy to have succeeded in ensuring the retro fitting of blind spot mirrors on all heavy goods vehicles in Europe. This measure was suggested to me by a person who was concerned about the number of accidents where HGV drivers simply could not see pedestrians – another example of a person approaching their MEP and after two years working on the issue, we were successful in getting a change in EU legislation.
Other areas I have been involved in at EU level include M.A.C. (MEP’s against Cancer) Group, Europa Donna (European Coalition against breast cancer), the prevention of Domestic Violence, Youth Policy, the Disability Intergroup. Campaigns and issues I have been fully involved in at a national level include the retention of Cancer Services in Sligo and Castlebar hospitals, the retention of A & E services in Monaghan, Roscommon and Ennis, the extension of pension entitlements to wives of self employed persons, the roll out of Breastcheck to all counties, the maintenance of payments and services to Carers and opposition to cut backs in Education.
While I am not a member of the Agri Committee I have consistently worked to ensure that the EU and in particular Irish Agricultural production is supported. I have been centrally involved in the Brazilian Beef Campaign, the efforts to support the sheep and dairy industry, the push for country of origin labelling and a sustained campaign to ensure Irish agriculture is not damaged by W.T.O. negotiations.
I will continue to work on patient safety by ensuring that health care workers from other member states who work in Ireland are properly regulated and continue my involvement with the “Europe for Patients” initiative which I launched with the Health Commissioner in 2008 – this initiative promotes better health for all in Europe.
Marian Harkin MEP and colleagues met recently with EU Commissioner for Employment Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Vladimir Spidla, to discuss the possibilities contained in the EU Globalisation Fund to support workers being made redundant. She expressed the hope that the Fund could be tweaked to assist jobs creation in areas hard hit by job losses. Pictured at the meeting were (L to R) Jim Higgins MEP; Colm Burke MEP, Commissioner Spidla and Marian Harkin MEP.
Marian harkin MEP was among the speakers who addressed the IFA EU Cadidates meeting in Claremorris. Pictured l-r, PJ Monaghan-Ballinasloe, Marian harkin MEP, Padraig Walshe - President IFA and Padraig Divilly - Kilkerrin.
Marian Harkin MEP with Jimmy Murray and Michael Naughton - Roscommon IFA at the IFA EU Candidates meeting in Claremorris.