About Averil

As Gaeilge

ABOUT AVERIL

Averil and Frankie

Compassionate, progressive and effective:

Averil is widely respected across the political divide as a compassionate, progressive and effective public representative.

 

She has “strong ideals”, and an “excellent work ethic” (Irish Times) and is “respected across the political divide for her empathy and skill at tackling some of the trickiest political issues” (Image magazine). She has also “ worked tirelessly on the ground” (Irish Independent).

 

Always stands up for what she believes is right:

She is a strong advocate for equality and social justice and is never afraid to stand up for what she believes is right. She championed marriage equality long before it was popular and worked tirelessly to help secure a YES vote in the referendum.

 

Trained in business and law:

As a graduate of Trinity College Business School, Averil has a strong understanding of business and finance. She also holds a Diploma in Legal Studies from the Kings Inns and has completed the Boston College ‘Political Leadership’ programme.

 

Determined to restore people’s faith in politics:

First elected in 2011, she is determined to help restore people’s faith in politics. She is not interested in petty point-scoring or lazy criticism. Instead, she puts in the hard graft needed to develop workable proposals and secure all-party support for them. This has earned her a reputation as a constructive and effective Independent politician with the ability to make a real difference to people’s lives.

 

Loves to combine her enthusiasm for exercise and charity fundraising:

Averil lives in Bayside and is very involved in her local community. In her spare time, she loves to exercise and relishes a challenge. She has cycled from Dublin to Arklow for Women’s Aid and taken part in several charity whitecollar boxing competitions. She also has a keen interest in development issues and volunteered in Mozambique with VSO in August 2011.

 

Averil Power. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.AVERIL’S CURRENT ROLE 

Averil was elected to the Seanad for the first time in 2011, after beating 33 other candidates. Since then she has focused on issues such as health, mental health, housing, supports for small businesses and social justice.

 

She has also consistently highlighted the need to prioritize education as an investment in our future and has criticized the damage short-sighted education cuts will do to our society and our economy.

 

 

Adoption bill launch photo 3

HOW AVERIL GOT INVOLVED IN POLITICS

Averil grew up in a council estate with high levels of early school leaving and unemployment. She was the first person in her family to sit the Leaving Cert and got enough points to study Business, Economics and Social Science in Trinity College.

 

While there, she realised having a third level education was opening up huge opportunities to her that her family and friends who had dropped out of school would never have. She thought it was unfair that in some areas 90% of young people go to college, while in others only 10% do.

 

She decided to get involved in politics to campaign for everyone to have a fair start in life, regardless of where they live or how much money their parents have. She won her first major elections at college when she was elected Education Officer and later President of the Trinity College Students’ Union.

 

OTHER EXPERIENCES & ACHIEVEMENTS 

    • Previously worked as a policy adviser in the Departments of Education, Social Protection and Tourism. In the Department of Education, she helped devise the DEIS Action Plan under which extra supports are given to schools serving areas with low levels of educational attainment.
    • Has won several awards for her work in the Seanad, including Irish Tatler ‘Woman of the Year;’ and the National Lesbian and Gay Federation’s ‘Political Figure of the Year’. Previous recipients of these awards include Katie Taylor and Mary McAleese.
    • Visited the Occupied Palestinian territories with Christian Aid in 2013 and has been a vocal advocate for the rights of the Palestinian people. She proposed a motion recognizing the State of Palestine which was unanimously agreed by the Senate in October 2014. A similar motion was later passed by the Dáil.
    • Published a national action plan on youth mental health in 2013, after consulting with young people, teachers, youth workers and mental health advocates.
    • Has been a strong advocate for gender equality and greater female representation in politics.
    • Is a jury member for the global Frontline Defenders human rights awards.
    • Resigned from Fianna Fáil in 2015 over the party’s lack of support for the marriage equality referendum.