Bairbre de Brún, a member of Sinn Féin who represents part of Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the European Parliament, will deliver the next President’s Forum speech, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 17 in Albright Auditorium. Her talk is free and open to the public.
She holds a bachelor’s degree with honors, a higher diploma in education and a postgraduate certificate in education. A teacher and community worker for more than 20 years, she has been head of Sinn Féin’s International Department since 1994 and a negotiator since 1997.
De Brún was a member of the North of Ireland Assembly from 1998 to 2004 (currently suspended), and served as Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety in the short-lived power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive.
She has been a member of the European Parliament, representing six counties in Northern Ireland, since the June 2004 elections. She is one of 732 people serving in the European Parliament, one of two Sinn Féin members and one of three representing Northern Ireland.
Members of the European Parliament are grouped by political affinity, not by which of the 25 member states they represent. De Brún sits with the United European Left/Nordic Green Left, the fifth-largest of the seven political blocks. She is a member of the Committee on Regional Development and of the Delegation for Relations with the United States.
Members divide their time among Brussels, Belgium; Strasbourg, Austria; and their home constituencies. In Brussels, they attend meetings of parliamentary committees and political groups, and additional plenary sittings. In Strasbourg, they attend 12 plenary sittings. De Brún is noted for her devotion to the Irish language and speaks it fluently.
For details, visit the President’s Forum Series Web page, http://www.hws.edu/academics/community/presidentsforum/index.asp.