Tanaiste Joan Burton said today that she chose Ms. Cahill for her “bravery, honesty and dignity since first meeting her last year, when she told me of the abuse she had suffered as a teenager”.
Mairia hit the headlines earlier this year when allegations of rape by a senior IRA figure emerged. The Belfast woman will go before the Labour parliamentary party and Central Council on Wednesday for ratification. The vote for the contested Donegal seat will take place on November 13.
The Tanaiste added that “At the time, I pledged that I and the Labour Party would support her in any way that we could,”
“Mairia hugely impressed members when she spoke at our annual conference. And when the hugely admired Jimmy Harte retired from the Seanad, I realised Mairia would be an excellent candidate to replace him.
“Mairia is a powerful advocate for abuse victims and refuses to be silenced even when vicious campaigns are mounted against her.
“She is a passionate campaigner on social justice issues and women’s rights. She has a background in youth employment, activism, and community enterprise.
“We are nominating Mairia for the Seanad because we believe she would be an excellent senator with an immense contribution to make.”