Clare Bailey became leader of the Green Party NI in November 2018, having served as deputy leader for a number of years. She was elected to South Belfast in 2016, making her Belfast’s first ever Green MLA. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to put social justice and equal rights at the top of the political agenda – and into local community action.
Clare designated as ‘Feminist’ in the NI Assembly. She has a particular interest in women’s rights, climate and the arts, campaigning on equality issues such as abortion access and domestic and sexual abuse, as well as environmental andother social justice issues.
During her time as MLA, she championed the passage of two significant pieces of legislation, making her the first ever MLA to have two private member’s bills passing through the Assembly at the same time.
Her Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) Bill will end the deliberate campaign of harassment against women accessing essential reproductive healthcare.
Through the introduction of the Climate Change Bill, Clare ensured that the Assembly finally delivered climate change legislation for Northern Ireland, providing urgently needed leadership to tackle the most urgent crisis we face.
Clare was chair of the NI Assembly Women’s Caucus, chair of the All Party Group on the Arts, a member of the Assembly Business Committee, and a member of the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee.
Rachel Woods is the Green Party NI candidate for North Down. Rachel is a trained researcher and previously served as a councillor on Ards & North Down Borough Council. She holds a degree in History & Philosophy and a Masters in Terrorism & Security from Queen’s University, Belfast. Since the age of 15,
Rachel has worked across the hospitality industry. Rachel is passionate about her local area and community, having grown up in North Down. She still lives in the area.
Rachel was a member of Stormont’s Justice Committee and took a particularinterest in advocating for youth justice issues and ensuring that the law protects victims and survivors of abuse and crime. She is passionate about social justice issues, and ensuring the right to housing, health, and education for all.
In 2022, her Safe Leave Bill passed the Assembly, making Northern Ireland the first region of the UK to provide 10 days paid leave to victims of domestic abuse. She has called for Votes at 16 in Northern Ireland elections and has been prominent in calls for pension schemes to divest from fossil fuels.
She is a committed environmentalist, calling for fundamental reform of the planning system, and for changes to be made on plastic manufacturing, use, and pollution.
Cllr Mal O’Hara is the deputy leader of the Green Party NI. Prior to electoral politics, Mal worked professionally in the community and voluntary sector for almost two decades, primarily managing health, community, and youth services. He was a board member of a suicide prevention charity in North Belfast for over 8 years and currently sits on the board of a regional mental health charity.
Mal is a well-known lgbtq+ activist in Northern Ireland. He is the former vice-chair of the Equal Marriage Campaign, founder of Alternative Queer Ulster and worked professional in the lgbtq sector for almost eight years.
Mal is the party group leader at Belfast City Council. His work has led to the establishment of a Climate Unit, working to a net zero target. His work on dirty air, which causes 1 in 24 deaths in the city, means Belfast is undertaking a detailed assessment for the first time since 2010.
During the first three months of the Covid pandemic, Mal set up a soup kitchen which provided over 17,000 meals to vulnerable people across Belfast. He is a leading advocate for a reimagined city, and he led the pedestrianisation of Union Street. His work led to City Council withdrawing its support for the York Street Interchange unless it meets the climate, housing and land use ambitions of the city.
In his limited spare time, he is a dog father and fantasy geek.
Brian Smyth has been your Green Party Councillor for Lisnasharragh since 2019. He has served on the Licensing Committee and the People & Communities Committee, as well as chairing the Climate Working Group on Belfast City Council.
Brian is passionate about building a climate resilient East Belfast, wherecommunities are connected through better active travel infrastructure and where we can tap into our history as an industrial city with new green jobs for East Belfast to flourish and thrive.
He believes East Belfast can be the catalyst for the change that we so desperately need, tapping into our heritage as an industrial focal point for the city, with the expertise to tackle climate breakdown and create new green jobs. He wants to see the constituency lead the way on providing apprenticeships for young people, creating cleaner, cheaper energy, and building a new economy that is fairer and more sustainable.
This election isn’t just about the next five years, it’s about the next 50 and the legacy that we leave for our children and grandchildren.
You can make history by electing Brian as the first Green Party MLA for East Belfast.
It’s time to write a new chapter in the story of East Belfast.
It’s time to make Northern Ireland work.
It’s time to Vote Smyth #1 on 5th May.
NEWRY & ARMAGH
Ciara started volunteering in the local Green Party office at 18, due to herinterest in conservation science and environmental campaigning. This led herto go on and study Zoology at Queens University, while also maintaining acareer as a dog groomer. While at university Ciara fell pregnant with herdaughter and says this encouraged her to push herself further in academia.
This summer she will be finishing her masters, before starting her PGCE inScience, otherwise known as a teaching qualification.
Ciara has been involved with Ulster Wildlife’s ‘Our Bright Future’ campaignwhich encourages nature based/outdoor education, the involvement of youthvoices in policy-making and support for environmental jobs and careers.
Lastyear she ran for the position of student parent-and-carers representative at Queens and won the election. She felt the position suited her as she hadfirsthand experience of balancing parenting and education.
Ciara’s keen interests are improving environmental policy, as well as
reproductive rights and welfare reform.
Stevie Maginn has lived in Ballymurphy for most of his life and works locally inthe charity and mental health sector. He is also a trustee at a local Wildlife Charity.
Stevie has been the Green Party Rep in West Belfast for the past five yearsduring which time he has been involved in campaigning on a number of issuespertinent to West Belfast such as reducing air pollution, increasing access togreen spaces and improving road safety and mental health outcomes for people in his community.
During the first wave of the pandemic, Stevie worked with party members toset up a soup kitchen which provided 1,676 meals to people across West Belfast.
Despite being unelected, Stevie has been working hard for the people of West Belfast, helping them combat fly tipping, respond to poor planning applicationsand access support services.He has been taking opportunities to learn more about the local issues, share the Green Party’s vision for healthier, happier communities, and to make the Green Party an electable alternative in West Belfast.
You can find out more about Stevie and his work in West Belfast here;
Noeleen Lynch (née Byrne) grew up in rural County Down, on a small farm near Rathfriland. Noeleen has always been an environmentalist, since lobbying her secondary school to set up a recycling scheme for plastic and paper in the mid-90s when this approach wasn't standard practice. She competed in the Ireland Young Scientist awards when her project entitled “Banana Farmers In Ireland?” studied the potential impacts of global warming on the crops grown in Ireland. The project led to 16-year-old Noeleen taking her first steps into environmental activism, giving her first radio interview to the formidable David
Dunseith on Talkback.
Her final year university dissertation studied the viability of the Mourne Mountains becoming the first National Park in Northern Ireland. She has always believed that farming and conservation goes hand in hand and farmers need more support in switching to more sustainable methods to meet both the targets placed on them and the demands of the marketplace.
Noeleen has volunteered and supported her community throughout her life and stepped up in 2020 when the Global pandemic setting up a community group in her local neighbourhood, coordinating volunteers, arranging food
parcels, prescription pickups, and grocery pick-ups for those who needed the extra support.
Noeleen has been a Green Party member for several years. After becoming a mother, she wanted to be part of the Green movement, doing something practical to give her children a better future, as well as highlighting and fighting climate change and the inequalities that still exist in Northern Ireland.
Susan Glass lives in Omagh and has been an active party member since 2015.
She has managed several election campaigns in West Tyrone, as well as standing for the local and Westminster Elections in 2019. This is her first Assembly Election as a candidate.
From 2017 to 2021 Susan served as membership secretary for the party and continues to represent West Tyrone on the Executive Committee. Working in the in the community and voluntary sector across Northern Ireland for over 20 years, she has seen the impacts of crises in health, housing, the cost of living and climate on peoples everyday lives at first hand. She wants to see radical action and change from Stormont.
Susan has been actively campaigning against gold mining in the Sperrins since 2015 and this will continue to be her priority throughout this campaign andbeyond. The mining industry is one of the most environmentally and socially damaging types of land use and is a major contributor to environmental destruction globally. It can adversely affect jobs in tourism and agriculture, leaving long-term damage that will have a negative impact environmentally, socially and economically.
Susan will continue to oppose the planning application for a gold
mining development in the Sperrins and call for a halt to the granting of exploration licences for precious metals and minerals across Northern Ireland.
Lesley has been active in local politics for many years. She joined Green Party Northern Ireland in 2016, served as policy officer and stood for the local elections in 2019. She is also vice-chair of Paper Trail, a legacy archive charity.
She has a lifelong commitment to public service and has been a local teacher for 32 years, teaching in a range of schools across all sections of the community. In 2017 she published a book on Northern Ireland Politics to support the A-Level curriculum.
Lesley served on the Forum of Victims & Survivors for four years. In this role she contributed to advice given to the Executive Office on legacy matters.
During her time on the forum, Lesley saw first-hand the benefits of having many different voices at the table – especially those who are often not heard.
She believes in the need for solid public services to provide a decent standard of living for all citizens and a political focus on the immediate issues facing people in their daily lives. She is dedicated to peace and to building a Northern
Ireland which works for all.
Maurice Macartney has been an active member of the Green Party in Northern Ireland since 2013. He founded the Strangford Greens, a constituency branch of the Party, in 2015, and is the party representative in his hometown of Newtownards.
Having graduated with a PhD in Politics from Queen’s University Belfast in 2001, he now works as part of the University’s Public Engagement team, organising public events, producing videos and podcasts, and engaging with political representatives as well as community groups on behalf of the University.
He is a self-described ‘serial volunteer’, having worked in a voluntary capacity for organisations such as Amnesty International, Oxfam, and intercultural peacebuilding organisation Beyond Skin. He is currently a board member of the NI based Migrant & Minority Ethnic Thinktank, for whom he makes the video and podcast series ‘MME Matters’, covering issues such as race-relations in Northern Ireland.
He is also a member of the Northern Mutual campaign group, pressing for the establishment of a mutual bank in Northern Ireland. He has published numerous videos, podcasts, and blog posts on behalf of ‘The Alternative Economists’, on community wealth building and the movement towards economic democracy, on his own website
FERMANAGH & SOUTH TYRONE
Kellie is a first-time candidate who has been involved in grassroots activism for years. She has worked in lobbying and policy for women’s and children’s charities and has campaigned on issues like welfare cuts, violence against women, childcare, maternal mental health, and reproductive rights. Kellie has
a background in community development and human rights education. She is currently a PhD student at Ulster University and has two children aged 10 and 6.
Kellie has been a member of the Green Party for about a decade and is passionate about putting green values into practice at a local level. Although Kellie is standing outside her home constituency, she has deep connections to Fermanagh and South Tyrone, having married a Derrygonnelly man.
She has been listening to the concerns of local people facing a cost-of-living crisis exacerbated by decades of under-funding for rural areas, neglect of the public transport infrastructure in the west and patchy access to essential health services.
Kellie is supporting a dedicated constituency group in Fermanagh and South Tyrone who have been working for years to have rural issues prioritised in Stormont and to put green policies on the agenda in their local area.
Mark Bailey has lived in Whitehead for over 20 years; he was born and educated in England before moving to Northern Ireland in 2000 to continue his career as a university lecturer in Economics. He is a long-time member of Greenpeace and joined the Green Party 18 years ago seeing it as a party committed to dealing with environmental and social issues.
He is concerned with maintaining our natural environment in East Antrim against the threats of development which prioritises short-term financial gains over the long-term damage to the environment.
As a regular railway user, he strongly advocates increased investment in public transport, especially in rural areas, and exploring the reopening of railway connections to ensure that towns and cities across Northern Ireland are adequately serviced and connected to each other.
He believes the Green Party can be a powerful force in opposing cuts to frontline health services and increasing investment in mental health services.
As an economist, he believes that the promotion of a properly calculated living wage for all employees will be a valuable tool in tackling poverty in our cost-of-living crisis.
Mark Coulson has a degree in philosophy from the University of Ulster at Coleraine, specialising in ethics, economics and scientific interpretation. He has worked in ICT Security for many years and brings a specialised understanding of future technology issues to the party. He is a founding member the North Coast Green Party Constituency Group which contains both North Antrim and East Derry/Londonderry constituencies.
Mark is a passionate advocate for gender equality, human rights and personal liberty. His political ideas are founded in a philosophy known as the ‘Illusion of Separation’. A great deal of suffering in the world is caused by people considering themselves separate from nature and from each other. When we see the way that all living things are connected in nature it becomes impossible to conclude that one can harm something else without harming one-self.
If asked “How should we treat others” Mark’s answer would be “There are no others”.
Paul Veronica has been a Green Party member for over six years and is the current chair of North Belfast constituency group. He has been involved in multiple successful campaigns with Clare Bailey and Mal O'Hara.
Paul joined the Green Party after searching for a political organisation aligned to his own activism in the anti-war movement and local campaigns. He is concerned for his children’s future and wants to see stronger climate action in Stormont.
He is concerned that the food system is broken, that trans people don’t receive enough support, and that we need to take action on clean air. He is glad to see the impact of the achievements of Green Party Northern Ireland at bothgrassroots level and in Stormont and is extremely optimistic for future with the
Greens.He won an All-Ireland Senior Football Club medal in 2010 with St. Gall’s andhas represented Ireland in Kettlebell Sport.
Climate justice, without social justice, is just gardening.
Lauren is your Green Party Candidate for Upper Bann. She has a teenage son and is passionate about community participation and open democracy, advocating for greater youth and community involvement in government decision-making.
Currently serving as a Green Party councillor, her recent council motions have tackled issues of support for women in the workplace, greater transparency in tree protection, fossil fuel pension divestment, review of minerals permissions and stricter controls for puppy breeders to combat puppy farming.
Lauren has a Master of Public Administration, Professional Certificate in Accounting, a BA Open Degree in English and Economics and Level 5 Leadership in Health & Social Care.
From the age of 16, Lauren has worked in retail, hospitality, and legal services, with most of her career spent in the charity and non-profit sector, including supporting people in health and social care and environmental organisations, promoting access to, and protection of, green spaces.
Lauren has interests in social justice issues, including disability rights having worked to support adults with disabilities for many years, as well as welfare reform and food security. Lauren has campaigned to ban hunting and she supports compassionate, sustainable farming communities seeing support forfarming as crucial to a just transition to a zero-carbon future.
Simon Lee is a qualified teacher and currently works in the further education sector where he has been employed for 13 years. During this time, he has also become an active trade unionist. After standing in the 2016 and 2017 Assembly elections for the Green Party, he had his first electoral success in 2019, when he was elected as a councillor on to Lisburn & Castlereagh City
Simon is the chair of the Environmental & Sustainability Working Group on Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and he has been overseeing the development of a screening tool that will require the environmental impact and sustainability of all council activities to be a significant weighing factor when making decisions. This is the first of its kind in any Northern Ireland
council. As a member of the arc21 joint committee, Simon has developed some expertise in waste management and recycling. This is an area which significantly contributes to climate emissions and needs to be modernised and reformed urgently. As a result of Simon’s motions, Lisburn & Castlereagh Council is committed to completely removing single use plastics from all
council sites, and the council has declared a climate emergency.
Gillian is passionate about delivering a progressive, shared and more equitable society.
Coming alongside people and communities to give a voice to those who are silenced is what makes Gillian a strong candidate. She has worked in the community sector for 13 years and now works in healthcare to bring integration across statutory and third sector organisations. Her experience in youth work, family support and employability means she knows what matters to people and how the current economic climate is compounding years of inequality and hardship.
Gillian has worked in mental health, suicide prevention, and postvention. She is a trainer and facilitator in this area and therefore is an advocate for more prevention and support for all in our society.
Building on the achievements of her peers and predecessors Gillian will advocate strongly for women rights and implementing initiatives that bolster our children and those most marginalised in society. She has experience of peace building both nationally and internationally.
Most of all Gillian is passionate tackling all forms of inequality and firmly believes there is no reason for inequality in 2022. She will fight for policies and initiatives that tackle it, holding herself and others to the highest standard.