Saoirse Mackin will run for the Social Democrats in next year's locals as Ireland's first transgender candidate.

State’s first transgender candidate to run in Cork

Ireland’s first transgender candidate has been selected to run in Cork city for next year's local elections.

LGBT+ campaigner Saoirse Mackin has been selected by the Social Democrats to contest for a seat in Cork City North West next year.

Speaking at the selection convention in Cork’s Metropole Hotel on Thursday night, Saoirse said: “I feel honoured to be standing as a candidate for the Social Democrats, a party that shares my ambition for an inclusive and fairer society where everyone is treated equally and with respect.

“If elected, my priority areas will include the provision of more affordable housing, improved public services, universal access to healthcare, and the development of quality cycle infrastructure in Cork. I will also campaign for better local amenities, such as upgraded parks, green spaces, playgrounds, and sports facilities."

Saoirse, who is a member of the Social Democrats’ National Executive, works as a community engagement officer and studies part-time at UCC. She co-founded Trans+ Pride Cork in 2022, which was set up to lobby for better healthcare services for transgender people and the wider LGBT community. Saoirse, who lives in Blackpool, is also involved in a number of community organisations, including the Cork Cycling Campaign.

Saoirse continued: “While I am proud to be the first transgender candidate running for election in the Republic of Ireland, it is my intention to be a public representative for the entire community if I win a council seat in Cork City North West next June. It is particularly exciting to be running for the party under the new leadership of Holly Cairns, who is one of the most impressive politicians of our generation.”

Welcoming the selection of Saoirse Mackin, Cork TD and Leader of the Social Democrats, Holly Cairns said: “Saoirse is exactly the kind of candidate we want to see running in next year’s local elections – one who is honest, principled, and committed to our party’s vision for a more equal Ireland.

“As an advocate for transgender rights, Saoirse can help highlight the deficiencies in services and supports that members of her community face on a daily basis.

“I know that Saoirse will be an exceptional public representative if elected and I’d like to wish her every success in her campaign.”