Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop will run as a Fine Gael candidate in Dublin South West constituency in the next General Election.

Ms O’Malley Dunlop, who is chairperson of the National Women’s Council of Ireland, and prior to that spent ten years as CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, was added to the constituency ticket at a meeting of Fine Gael’s Executive Council last week.

Following the party’s announcement O’Malley Dunlop said: “I am delighted to be announced as a Fine Gael General Election candidate for Dublin South West and I look forward to the challenge.

“For more than ten years as CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, I have influenced positive change on complex issues such as sexual and gender based violence and the rights of victims of crime.

“If elected I will continue to work for legislative reform for women’s and victims’ rights, and I want to be a champion for a reformed provision of supports for our older population.

“I also want Ireland to have a robust 21st century mental health service and I have a range of suggestions to improve services including the expansion of counselling and psychotherapy services.”

She began her career as a primary school teacher in Tallaght and subsequently trained as a psychotherapist.

In the early 1980s she set up St Catherine’s counselling centre for individuals and families in Tallaght.

A member of the Board of Gaisce, the Legal Aid Board and an Adjunct Professor to the School of Law UL, she unsuccessfully ran for the Seanad in 2016.

O’Malley-Dunlop will stay in her current role as chairperson of the NWCI until a General Election has been called and will then step down.

Fine Gael almost won two seats in the five-seat constituency in the 2016 election when their second candidate Anne-Marie Dermody was defeated by current Minister for Children Katherine Zappone by just 148 votes despite receiving 1,750 more first preferences.

Deputy Colm Brophy added: “I am delighted to have Ellen on board as my running mate in Dublin South West.

“Fine Gael in Government has put the right policies in place to help our economy and society develop in the wake of the economic crash and as a result we have grown our support in Dublin South West over recent years.

“It is important as a society that we continue to foster a spirit of inclusiveness and equality, which is why I am very pleased that Ellen will be my running mate in Dublin South West.

“I know she will add a lot to the Fine Gael ticket here with her immense experience of public service.”