Anna Rooney was the first Russian woman who managed to gain office in Irish local government.

Anna Rooney arrived in Ireland in 2000 after her marriage to an Irishman. She moved to Clones, –, a small town in the county of Monaghan and the home town of her husband. At that time there were few immigrants in Ireland, and in Clones, probably none at all. However, Anna quickly got used to her new life. She started doing charity work, practicing sport, helping her husband with his business and in this way made many friends and acquaintances. “People in remote parts of Ireland are good and easy tobefriend,’ she says.


Love of her life

Anna found her Irish husband on the Internet, ‘meeting’ him on a website for making friends.

Clearly, he was the love of her life: during six months of long-distance communications they wrote each other 700 e-mails, each 2 or 3 pages long!  After this, her future husband travelled with her to Sochi, but Anna belongs to a very traditional Abkhazian family, and the succession of events was too fast in her parents’ mind: the suitor was sent back home.  Nevertheless he did not give up: after two weeks he returned to Sochi and finally Anna got engaged to him.  The following year they moved to Ireland. Now they have two children.

Since the beginning of her new life in Ireland, Anna has worked as a volunteer in the Chernobyl Children’s charity. She also helped the first immigrants in Monaghan, organizing information seminars for them. Moreover she has taught Russian to Irish people and English to immigrants and she has sung in the local choir.

A non-local candidate

It became known by almost everybody in the area that she was an extremely active woman, always willing to help. Therefore it is not surprising that in the local elections of 2009 Anna put forward her candidacy to become a member of Clones Town Council. She was asked to stand as candidate of the ruling party Fianna Fáil. Despite the fact that the party was not at the peak of its popularity because of the current economic crisis, Anna agreed to stand because, as she says, she knew the local deputies well, and their efforts to work for the welfare of the area.

Then the elections came, and Anna won! She was the fourth immigrant candidate in Ireland who managed to get a place in a local authority. It is remarkable that she was supported by lots of her Irish acquaintances and not only by immigrants (In Ireland every person living in a county, even if he/she does not have the citizenship, can vote in the election of the local council).

During her time in office, Anna has become a member of several committees, has represented  Ireland in Brussels at a conference on immigrants’ integration and has met many prominent figures, including Irish President Mary McAleese. All the Russian-speakers living in Ireland can be proud of having a public representative like Anna.

Viktor Posudnevsky

Россиянка, которая стала ирландским депутатом


Последние публикации в категории

Похожие публикации