This afternoon, Annie Hoey, who is a former Union of Students’ in Ireland (USI) President, has been announced as the Labour Party spokesperson on Higher Education, Innovation and Science.
Hoey is a Labour Party politician who has been a Senator for the Agricultural Panel since April 2020.
In a tweet following the announcement, Hoey stated: “I look forward to using my experience of my student activist days in the USI and time spent on the Board of the [Higher Education Authority Ireland] HEA to constructively work with Simon Harris and Niall Collins.”
The establishment of a new department for higher education, innovation and science was established under the new government, with Simon Harris spearheading the department as its minister.
Hoey served as USI President in the 2016/17 academic year, having previously worked in the union as Deputy President and Vice President for Equality and Citizenship.
Hoey is a graduate of University College Cork (UCC), and is currently studying a specialist diploma in quality management at the University of Limerick (UL).
In the 2019 Meath County Council election Hoey was elected on the 9th count in May 2019 to represent Laytown-Bettystown on the Meath County Council. She ran for a Dáil seat in the 2020 general election in Meath East.
She served as a member of Meath County Council from 2019 to 2020.
The current USI President Lorna Fitzpatrick had a “constructive” meeting with Simon Harris on July 2 in his capacity as minister of the new department.
USI said that the Minister agreed to work with the union to develop a framework for supporting students’ unions.
Harris is to meet with the relevant parties connected to the recent student Sexual Experiences Survey (SES) by USI and Active Consent in the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway) within the next two weeks, as well as another formal engagement with USI on the broader range of issues before the end of the month.