Barrister Ade Oluborode has announced her intention to run in the upcoming Seanad bye election.
She is a practising barrister and a committee member of the Climate Bar Association, Comhshaol. Her previous experience includes roles in academia, medical and biotechnological research, real estate, financial services and the public sector.
Oluborode’s campaign will include aims to advance equality, diversity, and inclusion by advocating for the elderly, people with disabilities, families and women. Greater integration and political representation of new communities is also a focus.
She hopes to gain increased funding for College and improve its global reputation and its position in the QS University World Rankings. She pledges to use her private member’s time to travel globally to secure funding for education and research from industry and philanthropists. She also intends to support College’s existing fundraising projects.
In a press statement, she said: “I would love to see Trinity College become so financially robust and sufficiently agile to respond quickly and effectively to emerging international challenges. To this end I am fully committed to advocating for the government to commit increased and long term exchequer funding for TCD.”
Oluborode describes herself as independent of party and ideology and says she aims to increase access to education, employment, housing, health, and digital inclusion.
The bye election is likely to be held this spring. Other candidates include former Ireland rugby international Hugo MacNeill, Graduate Students’ Union President Gisèle Scanlon and social worker and Labour Party representative Eoin Barry. They will run alongside former diplomat and political commentator Ray Bassett and disability campaigner and army whistleblower Tom Clonan.
Clonan has run for the Seanad elections twice – in 2016 and 2020 – but never managed to secure a seat. MacNeill ran unsuccessfully in 2020.
Two Trinity PhD candidates, Ryan Alberto Ó Giobúinand Ursula Quill, will also be on the ballot.
Ó Giobúin is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology. His research concerns inequalities in education.
Quill is a PhD candidate in the School of Law, focusing on the Citizens Assembly and deliberative democracy. She was a secretarial assistant to Ivana Bacik for four years while Bacik was a senator.
The Green Party’s Hazel Chu is also considering a run.
Chu, who is the current chair of the Green Party and the former Lord Mayor of Dublin, is not a Trinity graduate, but candidates are not required to be Trinity graduates.
Fine Gael has confirmed the party will not have run a candidate, but is expected to support MacNeill’s campaign.
Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin said in September that they would discuss the issue of a candidate in the coming months.