From supermarket aisles to the Aras
LABOUR supporter Kevin McCarthy worked in a supermarket in Cork before he moved into politics.
From a farming background on the outskirts of Skibbereen, Mr McCarthy was awarded a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts from Waterford Institute of Technology. The Cork native was hired as parliamentary assistant to Labour TD Michael McCarthy in 2005.
He is a long-term supporter of Michael D Higgins and took up a job as the President's driver during the election campaign after an appeal was sent out from Labour headquarters. He was later hired as the President's executive assistant – a specially created position which came with a salary of €49,000.
In an interview to mark his year's anniversary in office, Mr Higgins paid tribute to Mr McCarthy's work during the campaign. "The fact that we had an internal contest for the nomination meant that I had to take to the road early, the campaign for me was 18 months," he said.
"It was an extraordinary experience. I wouldn't have been able to do it without Kevin McCarthy, who did 20,000km with me in his Golf," he added.
Mr McCarthy accompanied Mr Higgins on a holiday to Lanzarote earlier this year.
The Aras said he was accompanying the president "to be of assistance to the President and to facilitate ongoing and necessary liaison with the office".