Jump to content


  • Appointed Environment Committee shadow rapporteur for the Socialists and Democrat group, to work on the European Parliament Legal Affairs opinion: “Legitimate measures to protect whistle-blowers acting in the public interest when disclosing the confidential information of companies and public bodies”, March 2017
  • Appointed chair of the European Parliament Working group on access to medicines, innovation and poverty-related diseases, May 2017
  • Co-hosted national conference ‘The Role of Psychotherapy in a Healthy Ireland’ with the Irish Council for Psychotherapy in Dublin, October 2017


  • Appointed author of the ENVI opinion on implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with special regard to the Concluding Observations of the UN CRPD, April 2016 Committee
  • Hosted a national conference in Dublin on media diversity and ownership, and implications for democracy, in both online and traditional print media, June 2016


  • ‘EU US trade deal talks: should we be concerned? #ttip’ – Hosted a seminar in Dublin on the proposed Transatlantic Trade Talks, April 2016
  • Successfully tabled amendments to the European Parliament’s opinion on TTIP to protect public health, environment laws and opposing the controversial Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)
  • Appointed author of the ENVI opinion on the Constitutional Affairs Committee report on transparency and integrity in the EU institutions
  • Successfully initiated a European Parliament Written Declaration on Breast Cancer which required over 50% support from MEPs across all political and national divides


  • European Parliament’s Mental Health, Wellbeing and Brain Disorder Interest Group – Re-appointed co-chair of this group which brings together MEPs, Commission officials, academics and patient groups to work together on mental health issues such as depression, suicide and alcoholism.
  • European Alzheimer’s Alliance – Appointed vice-chair, to work with the alliance to make dementia a European public health priority
  • Elected Independent MEP for Dublin – Elected to the second seat in Dublin, with Sinn Féin taking the first seat and Fine Gael the third.


  • Tobacco Control Directive – revision of the Tobacco Products Directive. I successfully submitted legislative amendments strengthening the directive.
  • Transparency in Medicines Directive – involves new EU legislation on the pricing system for medicines in Europe. This legislation directly helps Irish patients in how and at what price they can access vital medicines. I helped draft the report on this for the Parliament.
  • Primary Mental Health Care Conference – As part of my work as co-Chair of the Mental Health Interest group in the European Parliament, I hosted a conference in the University of Limerick at the end May 2013, in partnership with the Network for Psychotherapeutic Care in Europe (NPCE). The conference brought together practitioners from across the sector to discuss the important role of talk therapy in primary mental health care. 
  • Clinical Trials Directive – revision of the Clinical Trials Directive. I successfully submitted legislative amendments to improve transparency around pharmaceutical clinical trials.
  • Biofuels – revision of the Indirect Land use regulations to tackle climate change. I successfully submitted legislative amendments raising the standards for biofuels and preventing damage to our climate from incorrect land use.


  • European Parliament MEPs Against Cancer Group – I was appointed co-chair. The group presents a forum for patients and industry groups to look at ways in which the EU can tackle issues such as breast, lung, prostate and cervical cancer.
  • Media Diversity: Does it matter? In February, I hosted a national conference on media diversity. This explored the need for government legislation on media ownership and carried out research seeking Irish journalists’ opinions on media monopolies. Speakers at the conference included prominent members of ‘Hacked Off’ the campaign for a free and accountable press in Britain.
  • Creative Europe 2014-2020 Programme – During my time with the Parliament’s Culture and Education Committee I helped shape the EU’s flagship Funding programme to promote employment in the arts, culture and heritage sector – the new Creative Europe programme 2014-2020 The Programme has been allocated spending of almost €1.5 billion, an increase of 9 per cent on the previous programme.
  • Financial Services Sector– I believe there must be complete transparency about how the financial services sector operates. I made a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Finance early in 2012. I uncovered massive industry lobbying of the Department on financial issues by the big multinational finance houses based in the International Financial Services Centre, in Dublin. I raised awareness of this lobbying and led calls for more transparency about hoe the Department of Finance deals with this type of lobbying.
  • Horizon 2020 Research Fund – I was successful in having amendments included to add support for culture to the EU’s €80 billion research Fund.


  • European Disability Strategy 2014-2020 I worked on the drafting of a Strategy to combat discrimination and social exclusion in Europe and to defend the fundamental rights of eighty million people with disabilities in Europe. That is 16% of the EU citizens.
  • 112 Emergency Number Opinion (Shadow Rapporteur)
  • European Economic Semester Opinion (Shadow Rapporteur)
  • European Cinema in the Digital Era Report (Shadow Rapporteur)
  • Shared Priorities – Dementia and Alzheimer policy in Europe and Ireland – I hosted a seminar focusing on the EU Joint Action on Alzheimer’s initiative. The seminar was held in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and offered a platform for policy and planning experts from Europe and Ireland to explore ways to help people with dementia and their families as well as ways to prevent the onset of dementia.
  • European Court of Auditors / Mr. Kevin Cardiff – I resisted pressure from the coalition government to support the nomination to the European Court of Auditors of Mr Kevin Cardiff, head of the Financial Services Division of the Department of Finance official. Nessa raised concerns about his suitability given the uncertainty around his role in the Irish Bank Guarantee and a recent serious error in the calculation of the Irish public finances.


  • European Parliament’s Mental Health, Wellbeing and Brain Disorder Interest Group – I was appointed co-chair of this group which brings together MEPs, Commission officials, academics and patient groups to work together on mental health issues such as depression, suicide and alcoholism.
  • Internet Governance Report (Shadow Rapporteur)
  • Impact Assessments Opinion (Shadow Rapporteur)
  • EU Joint Action on Alzheimer’s – This initiative aims to step up cooperation and support, to improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of this condition across the EU. I successfully introduced the following amendments to the new EU Initiative: 1) to focus on specific needs of women, who account for twice the amount of people living with dementia, or caring for a family member with dementia. 2) To focus on a healthy diet as current research suggests that diet may be a significant causal factor in the development of Alzheimer’s. 3) That the EU examines use of living wills
  • Sommer Report on Food Labelling – This report covered many aspects of food labelling, and also includes an example of a major piece of new legislation introduced by me. This ensured that palm oil, which is present in 40% of our food products, must now be labelled. The initiative was backed by the majority in the parliament and is now European law. This labelling allows NGOs to raise awareness among European consumers of the negative environmental and social effects of the deforestation and massive palm tree plantations in Asia.
  • Cohesion Policy Opinion (Shadow Rapporteur)