Cllr. Mary Freehill, Labour Councillor on Dublin City Council represents Rathmines, Rathgar, Terenure, Harold's Cross, Kimmage and recently Crumlin has been added to her area.
As Lord Mayor of Dublin City, she awarded the Freedom of the City to U2 and was instrumental in the organisation of the Millennium Celebrations in Dublin City.
Mary first became active in politics during the Housing Rights movement of the 1960s and was a founder member of the National Organisation for Action on Housing, which subsequently became the National Building Co-operative (NABCO).
Having joined the Labour Party in 1969, Mary was the founding secretary of the Labour Women National Council, Ireland's first women's political group, and over the years she challenged the Government on the attempted derogation of equal pay and tirelessly campaigned for Family Law Reform. She served as Secretary of the Contraception Action Programme (CAP/) in the 70's.
She maintained a devoted commitment to the community as Chairperson of the Rathmines, Ranelagh and Harold's Cross Drugs Awareness group that was formed in the mid 90's which prevented a serious drug epidemic in the greater Rathmines area. The group then gave attention to the issue of underage drinking, working with schools to improve awareness and, getting co-operation from publicans and Gardaí to work with Youth workers to provide alternative activities for youths who are at risk in the area.
Always interested in the provision of public facilities for cultural, sporting and recreational purposes, Mary got to work with other committed residents and formed the Rathmines Initiative in order to be a voice on the ground for her constituents to effectively articulate the needs of the area. One of the major achievements stemming from this is the redevelopment of the very successful Swan Leisure Centre which includes a swimming pool, sports halls, a public plaza, and private and social housing. Through her tenacity and drive, the community and political voice were brought together to work as one team seeking the best outcome for the people of Rathmines.
Mary has been a longtime member of the European Committee of the Regions and is a Vice-President of the Party of European Socialists. She has an expert knowledge of European Affairs. Mary understands the many challenges facing the people of Europe such as Brexit and climate change and has been a constant voice for sustainable development within Europe. She recently completed a report on the Empowerment of Women in Mediterranean regions, which highlighted the need to provide equal access to educational, skills, development and employment. Having secured formal and unanimous backing for the report, her next challenge is to work for the implementation of her recommendations at a European level.
During Mary's most recent council term, she has succeeded in leading the campaign to protect the DIT college beside Rathmines Library, which was earmarked for commercial development, so that it remains in use for educational purposes to serve the needs of local people. She recognises that there is a serious shortage of educational buildings and facilities in the Rathmines-Kimmage area, as is the case with St. Louis primary school and the Rathmines College of Further Education.
In 2017, Mary crucially stepped in to save the Gulistan Cleansing Depot, which was to be sold by Dublin City Council. She proposed and got agreement that the council will develop the site for Age Friendly and Family Housing on the site. Mary recognises that the greater Rathmines area is in dire need of a new HSE Primary Care Centre. She has championed this cause with vigour and hopes to ensure that the Depot site is developed to serve the Healthcare and Housing needs of the area, while retaining the Bring Centre on the same site.
Mary is an experienced and seasoned local and European politician who knows how to get things done. She understands how to navigate the difficult institutional structures that are in place and has the persistence and determination to make real changes in people's lives and to make Dublin work.
If there are any issues that you wish to discuss with Mary, please do not hesitate to contact her.
Cllr Mary FreehillThe Labour Party
- Home Address:
- 77 Grove Road
- Harold’s Cross
- Dublin 6
- [email protected]