Disability rights advocate Nikki Bradley ready to make ‘major changes’ through Seanad

Donegal disability rights advocate Nikki Bradley has been formally introduced as the Taoiseach’s candidate for the Seanad.

Ms Bradley fills the seat vacated by Regina Doherty, who was elected as an MEP in June.

A Milford woman said she will be promoting disability awareness at Leinster House.

“I have done so much over the years to advocate for disabled people and their families. I feel today is the day I can back up my words with action and hopefully make a real difference for people like me who have lived with a disability for many years,” Ms Bradley said.

Nikki Bradley receives Taoiseach’s nomination to the Seanad. Photo by Fergal Phillips released on behalf of Fine Gael.

Taoiseach Simon Harris said: “I am truly honoured to be able to appoint Nikki Bradley as First Minister’s candidate for Seanad Eireann today.

“I have been impressed for many years by her work as an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities and for equal rights.

“I know she will make a real difference in terms of speaking out and having a say in Seanad Eireann, campaigning on a range of issues.

“I promised that I wanted to prioritize disability issues. It’s really important that we take that into account in the appointments we make in politics.”

Ms Bradley will take over from Regina Doherty, who was elected to the European Parliament.
Photo of Fergal Phillips published on behalf of Fine Gael.

Ms. Bradley is a cancer survivor who was permanently damaged by treatment for a rare form of bone cancer at the age of sixteen. In February 2022, she underwent rotational surgery to amputate her hip and thigh and now uses a prosthesis.

She is the founder of the public awareness charity Fighting Fit For Ewing’s and an ambassador for Active Disability Ireland, The Disabled Drivers Association and the Donegal-based No Barriers Foundation.

Her career as a motivational speaker is based on inspiring others to follow in her footsteps and overcome their own challenges just as she did. She has been a regular crutch user since 2012 and in that time has climbed glaciers in Iceland, abseiled from the Fanad Lighthouse in North Donegal and completed the famous Fan Dance, a 24km walk across the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons in Wales. In July 2018, Nikki became the first crutch user to climb four Irish mountains on crutches in under 32 hours.