Currently a member of Seanad Éireann, Mary White is the sole nominated candidate for Fianna Fáil in this constituency. Growing up in Dundalk, Mary had a Belfast grandmother with whom she spent many summers and sh3e has a strong sense of identity with both northern and southern parts of Ireland. A voracious reader of history and always interested in politics, she studied for an evening degree in politics and economics as a mature student, which further whetted her political appetite. In 1984, a time of very high unemployment, she joined Fianna Fáil.
With assistance from S.U.C.C.E.S, a local community initiative to create jobs, which older readers may have contributed to, Mary, along with a partner co founded a now thriving company, Lir Chocolates in Dundrum in 1986.
She says that she has learned much from her entrepreneurial experience in the world of business, which equips her to make a contribution to the political system.This includes the ability for hard work, honed business skills, problem solving, love of learning and knowing the importance of education for all ages.
She is very aware from her own experience of the benefits to employees of having a job, including the spin offs in terms of self esteem and honed social skills. While Mary’s political interests are broad, she is especially interested in jobs for people in the 50 plus age bracket.
As a Senator she has prepared legislation to abolish mandatory at 65, as she feels that the experience and wisdom of older people are being unnecessarily lost to the workplace. She is strong on equal opportunities for women and quotes Hillary Clinton ‘No country can achieve its full economic potential when women are left out or left behind’.
She works for good quality of life for older people, and at the other end of the spectrum has campaigned with some success over the years for better supports for young children and their parents. She is proud to be associated with the extension of BreastCheck to women aged 65-69.