Lynn Ruane

Lynn Ruane (/ˈlɪn ˈrɑːn/; born 20 October 1984) is an Irish politician who has served as an independent Senator for the University of Dublin constituency in Seanad Éireann since April 2016.[1] She was the President of the Trinity College Dublin Students' Union from 2015 to 2016.

Lynn Ruane
Lynn Ruane TD.jpg
Assumed office
18 April 2016
ConstituencyUniversity of Dublin
Personal details
Born (1984-10-20) 20 October 1984 (age 35)
Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland
Political partyIndependent
Other political
Civil Engagement group
Children2, including Jordanne Jones
Alma materTrinity College Dublin

Early lifeEdit

Ruane grew up in Tallaght; she became a single mother and left school aged 15.[2] After returning to education via An Cosán,[3] she studied addiction and helped to develop local services for drug users.[2]

University politicsEdit

In 2012, she completed a foundation programme to allow access to a degree programme at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), and studied politics and philosophy.[2] Having spent a year representing student parents on the Trinity College Dublin Students' Union executive, she was elected as the union's president on 12 February 2015,[4] which gained national attention.[5][6] As president, she was active in the Fossil fuel divestment campaign at TCD,[7] and the campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment.[8]

National politicsEdit

In December 2015, Ruane announced her intention to contest the 2016 Seanad election in the University of Dublin constituency as an independent candidate.[9] She was elected to represent Trinity graduates in the Oireachtas on the 15th and final count, unseating incumbent Sean Barrett.[10][11] She was re-elected at the 2020 Irish Seanad election, reaching the quota on the eighth count.

In the 25th Seanad, Ruane sits with the Civil Engagement group; an alliance of independent senators seeking to bring civil society expertise and experience into the Oireachtas.

In May 2017, Ruane introduced the Controlled Drugs and Harm Reduction Bill to the Seanad which proposed removing criminal sanctions for minor drug possession.[12][13] In February 2019, Ruane introduced the Criminal Justice (Rehabilitative Periods) Bill to the Seanad which proposed expanding access to spent convictions,[14] where it passed unanimously.[15]

She was a member and vice-chair of the special Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment, which was established to examine the repeal of Ireland's constitutional ban on abortion and recommend the legal grounds to access an abortion in Ireland.[16]

Miriam Lord of The Irish Times named Ruane her 2016 Senator of the Year.[17]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2016, Ruane played a juror on the TV3 historical courtoom drama Trial of the Century.[18][19]

In September 2018, Ruane published a memoir entitled People Like Me.[20] The memoir reached number one on the Irish paperback non-fiction charts and won the 2018 An Post Irish Book Award for best non-fiction.[21][22]

Ruane's daughter Jordanne Jones is a DFCC award-winning and IFTA nominated actress.[23][24]


  1. ^ "Lynn Ruane". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b c O'Brien, Carl (5 January 2016). "Lynn Ruane: Aspiring Senator's crusading zeal for social justice". The Irish Times. Dublin. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Senator Lynn Ruane Encourages Early School Leavers to Return to Education". Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  4. ^ Baker, Sinead (13 February 2015). "Lynn Ruane Elected TCD SU President". University Times. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  5. ^ Humphreys, Joe. "Single mother who left school at 15 elected TCD SU president". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Early school leaver becomes Trinity's new Student Union president". Irish Independent. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Campaign to Push Trinity to Divest from €6 million in Oil Assets". Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  8. ^ "The Indomitable Student Voices of the Repeal Movement". Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Lynn Ruane to Run for Seanad". Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  10. ^ O'Halloran, Marie; Collins, Stephen (27 April 2016). "Former justice minister Michael McDowell wins Seanad seat". The Irish Times. Dublin. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  11. ^ Ryan, Charlotte (27 April 2016). "Lynn Ruane Defeats Barrett on Fifteenth Count to Secure Third TCD Panel Seat". University Times. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  12. ^ "Lynn Ruane Introduces Drug Decriminalisation Bill In Seanad". Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  13. ^ Oireachtas, Houses of the (31 May 2017). "Controlled Drugs and Harm Reduction Bill 2017: Second Stage". Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Senator Lynn Ruane Launches Spent Convictions Reform". Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  15. ^ News, Irish Legal. "Bill to expand spent convictions regime approved by Senators at second stage". Irish Legal News. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  16. ^ O'Connell, Hugh. "State to pay for abortion surgery if ban scrapped". Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  17. ^ Lord, Miriam. "Miriam Lord's Awards: Winners of this year's political gongs". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  18. ^ Finn, Christina. "Lynn Ruane: 'I never had a desire to move into politics'".
  19. ^ "WATCH: Tom Vaughan Lawlor and Mark Huberman in extended clip of 'Trial of the Century'". independent.
  20. ^ "People Like Me P/B Lynn Ruane". Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  21. ^ O'Loughlin, Vanessa (28 September 2018). "Irish Bestsellers 22nd September 2018". Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  22. ^ "An Post Irish Book Awards – 2018 Awards". Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  23. ^ "Films of 2015: Dublin Film Critics Circle weigh in". Scannain. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  24. ^ Hynes, Liadan (18 May 2015). "Meet Jordanne Jones – nominated for Best Actress IFTA at just 14". Irish Independent. Retrieved 28 April 2016.

External linksEdit