Five of the newest members of the Oireachtas have formed a technical group in the Seanad.
The Civil Engagement group - has been formed by Independent senators Alice Mary Higgins, Frances Black, Lynn Ruane and John Dolan along with the Green Party's Grace O'Sullivan.
They'll share speaking time in the upper house and say their collective backgrounds in civil society, activism and social movements makes for a fitting alliance.
Five members is the required number to form a technical group in Seanad Éireann and such a group helps ensure regular speaking time and the right to publish Bills.
Speaking on the formation of the Civil Engagement Group, Senator Alice-Mary Higgins said; “We saw a natural alliance form, based on shared experience of working within civil society, activism and social movements. There was also common ground around a more inclusive and transformative approach to policy-making, with a stronger focus on equality.”
Senator Frances Black also highlighted that; “While the five members of our group are new to political office, we bring to the table a proven commitment to social advocacy. Often the most vulnerable in society are the least heard. We each want to change that and by working together, we can, I believe, have a greater impact and shine a light on sometimes invisible issues.”