The Speaker of Hackney, Cllr Sally Mulready

A campaigner for equality and social justice, author, mother-of-four and grandmother to three, Cllr Sally Mulready has a new role to add to her CV, Speaker of Hackney.

The newly-elected civic representative for the borough is no stranger to taking on challenging roles. Arriving in Hackney from Dublin more than 40 years ago at the age of 16 with no education or skills, Cllr Mulready got her ’second chance’ to break into higher education with the Hackney College of Further Education. She got a job with the Electricity Board in Clapton, previously one of the main employers in Hackney, where she worked for nine years.

She fondly remembers her early days in the borough. “One of the wonderful things about Hackney was the community spirit and the solidarity of working people - most evident, I always felt, in Hackney’s famous markets.”

Weekends were spent at Chats, Ridley Road and, her local, Broadway Market. There was also London Fields and the Lido, "which then cost two pennies in the slot machine". She was delighted when the Lido was reopened in 2006. She said: “It’s a fantastic resource for the people of Hackney.”

Cllr Mulready is a renowned campaigner and has dedicated her political life to challenging prejudice and discrimination towards minority communities and marginalised people. She has been involved in a number of high-profile international campaigns, and has campaigned for a change in the law on pension rights for victims of miscarriages of justice.

She co-wrote the best seller Cruel Fate following her campaign work on the Birmingham Six, which is now used as a reference book in miscarriage of justice cases. She holds two Ministerial appointments at the Home Office and with the Irish Foreign Affairs Dept.

She is currently director of the Irish Elderly Advice Network; is involved in a campaign to obtain justice for victims of institutional clerical abuse, and has contributed towards the Commission to Inquire into Institutional Child Abuse Report.

Honoured to be a Chatham Ward councilor since 1998, she has also served as Cabinet Advisor for Equalities, Chair of Licensing and Chair of the Council Joint Committee. She regards the Council’s excellent relations with the Corporate Trades Unions as very important to maintain through the difficult times ahead.

With support from her Consort, and son, Cllr Ned Mulready, she aims to be a Speaker that will be a good civic leader, and added: “Ned and I are both keen to make a difference over the next year, working with all communities and as many voluntary organisations as we can across the borough.”

Cllr Mulready has chosen Homerton Hope located at the Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, as her charity which will be officially announced at the next Council meeting on 21 July.

For more information about the Speaker’s charity, or if you want her to attend an event, call: 020 8356 3350; email: or write to: Speaker of Hackney, c/o The Speaker’s Office, Room 118b, Hackney Town Hall, Mare Street, E8 1EA.