People - Social Democrats


Stephen Donnelly

Stephen Donnelly is a TD for Wicklow and East Carlow. He first ran for office in 2011, in response to Ireland’s growing economic and social crises. At the time he was working as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co., specialising in transformational change for large public and private sector organisations. Stephen has worked across many sectors, including private equity, retail, public infrastructure, healthcare, education, international development, and both the voluntary and social sectors. At the Harvard Kennedy School he studied international development, with a focus on rebuilding economies whilst protecting and strengthening vulnerable populations. After five years in national politics, Stephen is convinced that a new social democratic political force, that combines competent economics with a strong social vision, is critical in setting Ireland up for the coming years.

Twitter: @DonnellyStephe


Catherine Murphy

Catherine Murphy is a TD for Kildare-North. Catherine entered politics over 25 years ago as a town councillor for Leixlip, following many years of local community activism on a range of issues affecting local residents. She was first elected to Dáil Éireann in the 2005 By-Election representing the Kildare-North constituency, she was re-elected in the 2011 General election. Catherine is vocal on a wide range of issues including institutional reform, climate change, pyrite, planning sustainable communities, the homelessness crisis, tackling austerity and fighting for those most vulnerable in society.

Twitter: @CathMurphyTD


Róisín Shortall

Róisín Shortall is a TD for Dublin North-West. First elected in 1992, Róisín has been re-elected at every General Election since – giving her over 20 years’ experience in national politics. A former primary school teacher with a degree in Economics and Politics, Róisín has throughout her career been particularly vocal on social justice issues, healthcare in all its forms, and good governance. A former Minister of State, Róisín resigned her position and Labour Party membership on grounds of principle and refused to support what she saw as poor policy decisions. Róisín is passionate about accountability and fair distribution of resources.

Twitter: @RoisinShortall


Niall O’Tuathail

Niall O'Tuathail is the Social Democrats' candidate for Galway-West / South Mayo. After starting his career working abroad in the health and infrastructure practices of McKinsey & Co., he moved back to Galway and now runs a software design business working to improve healthcare and digital news.

He became frustrated with Irish politics during the bank guarantee and bailout, and returned from Africa to run Stephen Donnelly's canvassing campaign in 2011, and has been involved ever since. More recently, he ran the Yes Equality campaign in Galway. He is passionate about improving Ireland's healthcare service, investing in the infrastructure of our regions, making it easier to set up businesses and deep political reform.

Twitter: @niallotuathail

Sarah Jane Hennelly

Sarah Jane Hennelly is the Social Democrats’ candidate for Limerick City. She has a life-long passion for political and societal issues. In 2010 she was awarded a degree in Politics and Public Administration and in 2011 a masters in European Politics and Law from the University of Limerick. Sarah Jane is deeply passionate about educational reform and sees accessibility to high quality education and training as key to creating a more fair and progressive society. She wants to give a voice to young and marginalised communities and to re-engage the people of Limerick City in the political process.

Sarah Jane is a population health researcher with an interest in understanding how our environment and our lifestyles impact our physical and mental health and well-being. Through her research and work with community-based organisations, Sarah Jane has developed a solid understanding of many issues affecting the people of Limerick City.

To Sarah Jane, the Social Democrats is a new movement which is open to more innovative and creative policy-making. She believes the party’s social vision is what’s most needed both in Limerick City and nationally. Sarah Jane believes these attributes along with the party’s strong commitment to local development and local issues, will help her to develop a strong national platform for Limerick City in Dáil Éireann.

Twitter: @SJHennelly


Anne-Marie McNally

Anne-Marie McNally is the Social Democrats' candidate for Dublin Mid-West. Anne-Marie McNally is a former community journalist and community development worker in Dublin. Having obtained her primary degree in Accounting and Human Resources in 2002, Anne-Marie returned to Dublin City University in 2011 to undertake a Master’s degree in Political Communication where she obtained first class honours. Following her Master’s degree Anne-Marie joined the Dáil team of Catherine Murphy where she plays a pivotal role in strategy, research and communications.

Twitter: @amomcnally


Gary Gannon

Gary Gannon is the Social Democrats' candidate for Dublin Central. Gary Gannon was elected in 2014 to represent the people of Dublin’s North Inner City at City Council. He graduated from Trinity College in 2012 with an Honours degree in History & Political Science and remains a proud and committed Ambassador of the Trinity Access Programme (TAP).

Prior to being elected to Dublin City Council, Gary worked as a Career Guidance Advocate for Early School Leavers in the North Inner City. 

As an elected representative of Dublin City Council, Gary is a member of Economic & Enterprise Development, Housing and Arts & Culture SPC’s.

Twitter: @1GaryGannon


James Heffernan

James Heffernan is the Social Democrats' candidate for Limerick County. James Heffernan is a Senator from Kilfinane in Co. Limerick and at 35 is one of the youngest members of the Seanad, having been elected in 2011. He returned from Australia to contest the 2007 General Election for the Limerick West Constituency and has been involved in Politics since and is a former member of Limerick County Council.

He is a graduate of History, Politics, Sociology and Social Studies from the University of Limerick. James resigned as a member of the Labour Party over broken election promises, and in particular over cuts that affected children and the disabled. In the Seanad James has been an advocate for Social Justice, the Environment, support for Rural Communities and tackling Organised Crime.

Twitter: @jimmyheffo


Glenna Lynch

Glenna Lynch, a small business owner, is the Social Democrats' candidate for Dublin Bay South. Always interested in politics and its impact on Irish society, she was part of the Democracy Matters campaign for the Seanad and is a substitute for Nessa Childers MEP since 2014.

Glenna joined the Social Democrats because she believes that deep political and cultural reform within Government is urgent if we are to reach our potential as a country. Frustrated at the lack of ambition and vision from the old parties, she believes that the Social Democrats will offer people the opportunity to vote for the type of clean open government that is vital to a strong democracy,a fair society and a vibrant economy.
Glenna is committed to equality of opportunity, and to the evidence based decision making that can deliver it. She thinks that we have only scratched the surface of Ireland's potential and that we should be more ambitious for this country.

Twitter: @Glenna_lynch



Cian O'Callaghan

Cian O’Callaghan is the Social Democrats' candidate for Dublin Bay North and former Mayor of Fingal County Council. Cian topped the poll in last year's local elections. 

Cian's areas of interest include housing, planning, childcare; and healthcare and he is a strong advocate of evidence based decision making. He has a diploma in Healthcare Economics, a higher diploma in Social Policy and a Masters in Politics. 

Cian is a voluntary member of the Dublin North East Drugs Task Force which supports communities and families dealing with addiction. He is also a member of the Audit Committee of Fingal County Council and has been an elected Fingal councilor since 2009. 

Cian believes that a new type of politics is breaking through - a politics based on participation and inclusion - and that the Social Democrats are at the heart of this new politics.

Twitter: @ocallaghancian


Leonard Kelly

Leonard Kelly is the Social Democrat candidate for Wexford. A father of four young children, Leonard has been involved in his local community for a number of years. He is a co-founder and chair of a mental health awareness and fundraising group (Friends of It’s Good to Talk) , board member of Wexford Educate Together Primary School and Wexford County Childcare Committee.

This time working with the community sector has hardened Leonard’s conviction in the absolute importance of investment in our local communities and crystallised his understanding of the issues facing these, and many sectors of our society.

Leonard achieved an honours degree in Quality Management and a Primary degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy. For the last 15 years, he has worked in a variety of project and quality management roles in the Medical Devices, Pharmaceuticals and Manufacturing Sectors. As a result of this, he adheres to ethical, evidence based decision making.



Aisling O'Neill

Aisling O'Neill is the Social Democrats candidate for Meath East. Since 1992 she has been working in nursing in private, public and community sectors here and in Australia. She also spent 5 years working in  farming. She is a mother of 2 school-going children in Ashbourne and so is aware of the issues facing families in our communities. She has been involved with the campaign against water charges since the beginning.

By becoming a Social Democrat under the leadership of Catherine Murphy TD, Róisín Shortall TD and Stephen Donnelly TD, she has joined a group of people with exceptional integrity and character who embody the kind of principled leadership that this country has lacked for decades.

Her mission is to develop a political culture centred on openness and transparency, to strengthen our economy, to address the needs of all in our communities and to build a republic of equals where every person has an opportunity to reach their potential. She will work to build a fairer society where housing, healthcare, education and worthwhile employment are priorities not neglected after thoughts. It is her aim to deal with the issues of our time, in our time, and not foist the legacies of past mis-governance onto our children.

Twitter: @aoneillmeath


Ken Curtin

Ken Curtin is the Social Democrats candidate in Cork East.  Ken is a married father of two girls.  He lives in Cobh and plays an active role in the local community through several organisations including Tidy Towns and Cobh People’s Regatta.  He is an experienced campaigner at local and national level, the latest example of this being the key leadership role he played in Yes Equality Cork in the Marriage Equality Referendum.

Ken has been involved in politics all his life but this is his first time putting himself forward in a General Election.  He believes as we approach the centenary of 1916 our country is at a crossroads, we have a choice between opting for a continuation of more of the same or a new type of politics based on a vision of open government and the type of public services we as a people so badly need.  He believes Social Democrats under the leadership of Stephen Donnelly, Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall can deliver on that vision while maintaining a strong pro enterprise economy.

Twitter: @kencurtin


Gerry Warnock

Gerry Warnock is the Social Democrats candidate for Longford- Westmeath. He is 38 years old and lives in Prospect Wood, Longford with his wife Rachel, daughter Katie (5) and son Rían (3).

Gerry was a student of St. Mel’s College, Longford and after finishing his Leaving Cert in 1995, he spent a number of years working in Dublin and in Lyon, France. He took up a position in Longford County Council in early 2001 and continues to work there today.

He has achieved a wealth of practical experience within the organisation and has experience in all aspects of Local Government including an expert knowledge of the governing legislation. He also received an NUI qualification in Local Government Studies in 2005.

Gerry is particularly proud of his Longford routes. His father Christy was born and bred in Longford Town and served the people for over 30 years as an Independent member of Longford Town Council, formally Longford UDC. His late mother Maureen, who continues to be a guiding influence in Gerry’s life, was originally from Abbeyderg in Kenagh.


Twitter: GerryWarnock
Facebook: CouncillorGerryWarnock