President Michael D Higgins’ daughter is set to follow in her father’s footsteps and run for the Seanad.
Alice Mary Higgins will run as an Independent candidate in the forthcoming Seanad elections.
The UCD English and Philosophy graduate currently works as policy and campaigns officer with the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI), however it is believed she will take unpaid leave from the council to mount her campaign.
Among her main campaign issues are closing the gender pay and pension gap, repealing the Eighth Amendment and introducing equality budgeting, which analyses how different sections of society are affected by specific economic policies.
She also hopes to address public service issues such as health and housing.
The 40-year-old’s manifesto and website is expected to be launched over the coming weeks.
She said she is not seeking a role in government but “to be a voice for civil society”.
The Galway native has previously worked with the unemployed, anti-racism project Comhlámh, aid agency Trócaire and for the umbrella group ‘Older and Bolder’, which campaigns for senior citizens.
A woman has not been elected to the NUI panel in the Seanad since Gemma Hussey in 1981.
Ms Higgins joins Ellen O’Malley Dunlop, former chief executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and also a former board member of the NWCI, bidding to obtain an NUI Seanad seat.