Maria Walsh, MEP
Maria Walsh was elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the Midlands–North-West constituency at the 2019 European Parliament elections. She is the youngest Irish MEP in the European Parliament.
Maria was born in Boston, USA, but the village of Shrule, Co. Mayo has been home for her since 1994. She graduated from Griffith College Dublin with a B.A. in Journalism and Visual Media in 2009 and went on to a career in television production and creative management, working in Dublin, New York and Philadelphia.
In the European Parliament, Maria is a full member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL), and the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT). She is also a substitute member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). She is also the only Irish EPP representative on the Delegation for relations with the United States and the Delegation for relations with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States.
Furthermore, Maria is Vice-Chair of the LGBTI Rights Intergroup in the European Parliament, which advocates for equality in the EU and monitors Member States’ legislative initiatives. She consistently advocates for equality, inclusion and diversity within her policy and legislation work.
As a Co-Chair on both the Mental Health Alliance and the Coalition of Mental Health and Wellbeing Intergroups in the Parliament, Maria is dedicated to raising the cross-sectional impacts of mental health throughout her policywork. With her work on these two Mental Health Intergroups, Maria is leading the call for an EU Year of Good Mental Health to ensure that we are prepared for the oncoming mental health crisis which will follow the pandemic.
In 2014, Maria was crowned the International Rose of Tralee, at the festival of the same name that celebrates young women of Irish heritage. As the first openly gay Rose of Tralee in 2014, she used her platform to advocate for a positive vote in the Marriage Equality referendum in 2015. Up until July 2019, Maria served as a member of the Irish Reserve Defence Force in the First Armoured Cavalry Squadron, based in the Curragh Co. Kildare.