Aodhán Ó Ríordáin is a Labour Party Senator based in Dublin Bay North and previously served as the Minister of State for New Communities, Culture, Equality and the National Drug Strategy and TD for the constituency.
In July 2014 Aodhán was appointed as the Minister of State with responsibility for New Communities, Culture and Equality. This brief was spread across both the Department of Justice & Equality as well as the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht. In April 2015, he was given the additional brief of Minister of State for the National Drug Strategy in the Department of Health.
A native Northside Dubliner, Aodhán was first elected a TD in February 2011 having previously served as a member of Dublin City Council from 2004.
Prior to his appointment as a Minister of State he served as Vice Chair of the Committee on Education and Social Protection and a member of both the Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform Committee and the Good Friday Agreement Implementation Committee.
Before 2011 Aodhán worked as a teacher and principal in St Laurence O’Toole’s GNS in Sheriff Street where he was inspired to get involved in politics to further the causes of the disadvantaged and voiceless in our society.
He served as Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin in 2006, during which time he launched his ‘Right to Read Campaign’ in an effort to challenge the poor literacy rates in disadvantaged areas. This was successful in helping promote local literacy strategies which are still in place, and also opened every library in Dublin City for 6 days a week. It was a moment of particular pride for Aodhán when the library local to Sheriff Street opened on a Saturday due to his efforts.
Previous campaigns and work includes:
- Campaigning for Traveller Ethnicity in conjunction with the Irish Traveller Movement
- Member of Pavee Point Education Sub-Committee
- Member of ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ Executive Board
- Strong supporter of Marriage Equality
- Co-author of amendment to Employment Equality to remove discrimination on basis of sexuality or marital status in religious-run state-funded institutions.
- Author of ‘Tackling Back to School Costs Report’ on behalf of the Education & Social Protection Committee, which resulted in Book Rental Schemes being extended to all schools in Budget 2014.
- Working with NGOs on improving the legislation surrounding Incitement to Hatred
- Published a bill to amend the criteria of the National Educational Welfare Board, on school attendance, to cover children of the ages 4 – 5.
- Established ‘Convention in Your Classroom’ project bringing the Constitutional Convention to local secondary schools.
- Co-Founder of Marino IE Teaching Access Programme encouraging disadvantaged students to enter primary teaching profession.
- Co-Founder of Donnycarney Traditional Music Festival
Aodhán is a keen sports fan, a theatre enthusiast and trains a local Ladies Gaelic Football team in Scoil Uí Chonaill GAA Club in Clontarf.
Listen to RTÉ radio documentary on Aodhán’s Sheriff Street girls here:
Listen to Newstalk interview on the music important in Aodhán life here: