Wednesday 21 November 2018

Meet your 52 new TDs: lawyers, teachers, a techno DJ

Fianna Fáil’s Lisa Chambers celebrates winning her Dáil seat at the Castlebar Count Centre in Mayo. Photo: Gerry Mooney
The two newest TDs in Carlow Kilkenny - the delighted FG's John Paul Phelan and SF's Kathleen Funchion
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Meet your new TDs. They’re teachers, barristers, business people and political party apparatchiks. Oh and there’s a Reserve Defence Forces second lieutenant and a former techno DJ.

In all, there are 52 new faces in Leinster House. There are also another seven who previously served as TDs and are returning after an absence.

Fine Gael’s Josepha Madigan
Fine Gael’s Josepha Madigan
Fianna Fáil TD John Brassil
Fine Gael's Kate O'Connell
City West...Election count, Eoin O'Broin and his partner Lynn Boylan.

The teachers include Fianna Fáil’s Niamh Smyth and Sinn Féin’s Carol Nolan. Dublin Bay South’s Jim O’Callaghan is one of the barristers in the mix while his party colleague Lisa Chambers is also in the legal profession – when she’s not taking part in military exercises with the RDF. She says she’s not allowed continue now that she’s a TD. “It’s a pity but you can’t keep everything going,” she said. She nominates Micheál Martin as Taoiseach today.

Across the aisle, Fine Gael’s Noel Rock has the honour of nominating Enda Kenny. While he formerly worked for Hillary Clinton, he’s one of the backroom political workers on the list.

Fine Gael’s Tom Neville began his career as a teacher, but has tried a few other jobs. He has a masters in music technology. “I was a DJ... I did some work for a local community radio station... I used to do techno and dance music, house music.” Returning faces include Eamon Ryan, Green leader, and Seán Haughey of Fianna Fáil – a member of perhaps the most famous political dynasty. Also back are his colleagues Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher, Eamonn Scanlon, Darragh O’Brien and John Curran. Fine Gael’s Michael D’Arcy returns after a stint in the Seanad. They’re an eclectic bunch.

Kathleen Funchion

11 NEWS iampot kclr kenmcguire11.jpg
Election 2016 candidate Kathleen Funchion (Sinn Fein) gets to grips with Caesar The Snake during KCLR's I'm A Politician Get Me Out Of Here. Photo: Ken McGuire/KCLR

Sinn Féin, Carlow-Kilkenny

Kathleen Funchion, a mother of two, previously worked at Siptu as a workers’ rights advocate. A former Kilkenny Borough councillor, she came third in the 2015 by-election teeing her up to win a seat. She is separated from her husband, fellow new TD David Cullinane. She featured on a local radio contest where she handled a boa constrictor snake.

Niamh Smyth

Fianna Fáil, Cavan-Monaghan

An art teacher, Niamh Smyth also has a qualification in dance education and served as Arts Education Officer on the Cavan-Monaghan Education and Training Board. She was elected to Cavan County Council in 2009. Her family is steeped in Fianna Fáil history. Her grand-uncle Paddy Smith was a TD between 1923 and 1977.

Dr Michael Harty

Dr Michael Harty

Independent, Clare

Fine Gael's Noel Rock celebrates with supporters after winning a seat in the Dublin North west constituency at the RDS count centre. Photo: Damien Eagers
Fine Gael's Noel Rock celebrates with supporters after winning a seat in the Dublin North west constituency at the RDS count centre. Photo: Damien Eagers
Danny Healy Rae
Sinn Féin's Carol Nolan
Fine Gael's Kate O'Connell shakes hands with Fianna Fail's Jim O'Callaghan after they both won a seat in the Dublin Bay South Credit: Damien Eagers

Dr Michael Harty was the GP in the Co Clare village of Kilmihil for more than 30 years. He fought the election under the ‘No Doctor, No Village’ banner, arguing that rural GPs are finding it increasingly difficult to make sufficient income and communities are being left without basic healthcare as a result.

Kevin O’Keeffe

Fianna Fáil, Cork East

The son of former Fianna Fáil TD Ned O’Keeffe, Kevin (51) was first co-opted onto Cork County Council in 1997 and won re-election on four occasions since. A famer and businessman, he also worked in insurance and sought election to the Dáil in 2011 after his father retired. He failed to get elected then – but took the third seat this time.

Pat Buckley

Sinn Fein's Pat Buckley

Sinn Féin, Cork East

Pat Buckley was selected to run after the decision by sitting TD Sandra McLellan to controversially not contest the election. He volunteers at the Let’s Get Together Foundation, a suicide prevention organisation he co-founded. He has previously spoken openly of his regret at his drink-driving conviction for a 2013 incident.

Mick Barry

AAA-PBP, Cork North-Central

Mick Barry grew up in Dublin but moved to Cork in the early 1990s. A former Labour member, he was expelled in 1989 for membership of the far-left group Militant Tendency. He was elected as a councillor in Cork in 2002 and was once jailed for his role in the anti-bin charges campaign. He is a leading anti-water charges activist.

Aindrias Moynihan

Cllr Aindrias Moynihan.

Fianna Fáil, Cork North-West

Father-of-four Aindrias Moynihan worked as an engineer before going into politics and also has a qualification in marketing and management. A gaeilgeoir, he was co-opted on to Cork County Council in 2003 to replace his father Donal Moynihan TD, and kept the seat in three subsequent elections.

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Sinn Féin, Cork South-Central

A UCC law graduate, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire (27) worked as a political advisor to Sinn Féin Oireachtas members after leaving university. He was elected to Cork County Council in 2014 and is a scout leader as well as being involved in St Finbarr’s Hurling and Football Club. He took part in the development of Sinn Féin’s housing and Irish language policies.

Michael Collins

Independent, Cork South-West

Farmer Michael Collins caused a shock in the Fine Gael heartland of Cork South-West when he took a seat last month. The father-of-three lives outside the village of Schull. He has been heavily involved in voluntary organisations in the area including the Tidy Towns and the West Cork Community Alliance, which campaigned against the closure of Garda stations.

Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony

Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony (Fianna Fáil) Cork South-West

Fianna Fáil, Cork South-West

Former post office worker and special needs assistant Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony (48) is a mother of two. She grew up in a politically active household and was involved in Fianna Fáil campaigns from an early age. She was first elected to Bandon Town Council in 2004 and took a county council seat in 2014. She is the first woman TD to be elected in Cork South-West.

Denise Mitchell

Sinn Féin, Dublin Bay North

Coolock woman Denise Mitchell was first elected to Dublin City Council in the Beaumont-Donaghmede ward in 2014. Previously active in the party, she canvassed for local councillor Larry O’Toole. She has been involved in the anti-water charges campaign and is an opponent of cutbacks in the health service – particularly in Beaumont Hospital.

Jim O’Callaghan

SN DC Jim O'Callaghan.jpg
Superhero: Jim O'Callaghan, Fianna Fáil candidate for Dublin Bay South on the canvas trail. Photo: David Conachy.

Fianna Fáil, Dublin Bay South

Barrister Jim O’Callaghan (48) represented Ireland in rugby at under-21 level. He was first elected as a councillor in 2009 and served on Dublin City Council’s joint policing committee. The graduate of Kings Inns was appointed legal adviser to the Fianna Fáil frontbench in 2011. He is the brother of RTÉ broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan.

Kate O’Connell

Fine Gael's Kate O'Connell

Fine Gael, Dublin Bay South

A businesswoman and mother-of-three, Kate O’Connell (36) runs two pharmacies in Dublin. She was a surprise winner in the constituency where former Fine Gael TD Lucinda Creighton lost her seat. She helped save a man’s life last November when he had a heart attack while driving near her pharmacy in Rathgar. 

Louise O’Reilly

Sinn Féin, Dublin Fingal

Trade union organiser Louise O’Reilly was a first-time candidate. A Dublin GAA fan, the mother-of-one took the final seat in the constituency where Fine Gael minister Dr James Reilly lost out. Abolishing water charges and tackling the homeless crisis are among her priorities. She lives in Crumlin but says she plans to move to Fingal.

Eoin Ó Broin

Sinn Féin's Eoin Ó Broin. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Sinn Féin, Dublin Mid-West

Eoin Ó Broin is a former Belfast City councillor and is the partner of Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan. Educated for a time in Blackrock College, he did A levels in Britain. He was co-opted onto South Dublin County Council in 2013 and subsequently kept the seat in 2014. He has worked with homeless agency Focus Ireland.

Gino Kenny

Gino Kenny

AAA-PBP, Dublin Mid-West

Gino Kenny is likely to join the ranks of TDs who have eschewed wearing suits, saying that the only time he wears one is at a wedding. Full name Eugene, Gino is a nickname that has stuck since his youth. First elected as a councillor in 2009, he has supported striking workers and worked to provide services for young horse owners in Clondalkin.

Noel Rock

Noel Rock (FG)

Fine Gael, Dublin North-West

Noel Rock interned for Hillary Clinton, before working for the European People’s Party in Brussels and later as an assistant to Fine Gael Oireachtas members. He won a city council seat in 2014 and is the first TD from his party elected in Dublin North-West since 1992. He will nominate Enda Kenny as Taoiseach in the Dáil today.

Josepha Madigan

Fine Gael’s Josepha Madigan

Fine Gael, Dublin-Rathdown

Solicitor Josepha Madigan won her seat in a constituency that saw Alan Shatter lose out. Elected a councillor in 2014, she faced controversy over distributing a leaflet opposing a halting site. She later said she is not anti-Travellers, arguing the project did not make economic sense. She is the author of raunchy novel ‘Negligent Behaviour’.

Catherine Martin

Green Party, Dublin-Rathdown

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin worked for 15 years as a teacher of music and English in Dundrum. The mother of three was elected to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in 2014. She attracted strong transfers to win her seat. She is married to Cllr Francis Duffy, a Green Party representative on South Dublin County Council.

Brid Smith

Brid Smith

AAA-PBP, Dublin South-Central

Bríd Smith was first elected to Dublin City Council in 2009 but her website says she has “devoted her whole adult life to the struggle for workers’ rights, women’s rights and the rights of all the people against the elites”. She has been involved in anti-apartheid, anti-war and anti-Water Charges campaigns.

John Lahart

Fianna Fáil, Dublin South-West

John Lahart began his career as a teacher before training as a psychotherapist. He was elected to South Dublin County Council in 1999 and worked as an adviser to Fianna Fáil TD Tom Kitt between 2000 and 2007. He got the second most votes in the constituency and takes back one of the two seats his party lost in Dublin South-West in 2011. 

Colm Brophy

Fine Gael, Dublin South-West

One-time head of Young Fine Gael in the early 1990s, Colm Brophy (49) has run an events management business for 20 years. He was a member of South Dublin County Council beginning in 2008. Templeogue-based, he regained the Fine Gael seat lost in the by-election that came about after Brian Hayes was elected to Europe.

Katherine Zappone

11 NEWS II Deputy 22 TB.jpg
Katherine Zappone - Dublin South West. Pic Tom Burke

Independent, Dublin South-West

Originally from Washington State, Katherine Zappone has lived in Ireland for decades and is the founder of An Cosán education centre. A leading campaigner in the marriage referendum, Ms Zappone married Dr Ann Louise Gilligan on Irish soil this year. They previously tied the knot in Canada. She was appointed to the Seanad in 2011.

Jack Chambers

9 NEWS Jack Chambers20_4.jpg
Youngest TD Jack Chambers. Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Fianna Fáil, Dublin West

The youngest TD in the Dáil, Jack Chambers (25) had a social media baptism of fire, getting abuse over his age, his pro-life views and his hairstyle. He says he doesn’t track what’s said online and is getting on with the job. Inspired to enter politics by the late Brian Lenihan, medical student Mr Chambers regained the former finance minister’s old seat for Fianna Fáil. 

Maria Bailey

New TD Maria Bailey says former teacher Mary Hanafin has no hard feelings. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Fine Gael, Dún Laoghaire

Maria Bailey (40) beat her former teacher – Fianna Fáil councillor Mary Hanafin – to a seat in the Dáil. A former Aer Lingus customer service representative, Ms Bailey is a mother of two. From Killiney, she was elected to Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council in 2004, the same year as her father John.

Seán Canney

Independent Alliance, Galway East

Seán Canney, a chartered quantity surveyor who has lectured at GMIT, is one of the members of the Independent Alliance gathered together by Shane Ross. He was elected to Galway County Council in 2004 and served a term as mayor of the county. He is a member of Corofin GAA club and the Belclare/Sylane Community Council.

Anne Rabbitte

Fianna Fáil, Galway East

Anne Rabbitte (45) caused an upset when she won a seat over sitting Fianna Fáil TD Colm Keaveney. Her husband sadly passed away five years ago and she has three children between the ages of 10 and 14. She worked full-time as a financial adviser with Bank of Ireland. She was first elected to Galway County Council in 2014.

Catherine Connolly

Independent, Galway West

A former Labour councillor, Catherine Connolly left the party when it decided not to run a second candidate alongside Michael D Higgins in the 2007 election. A practising barrister, she previously worked as a clinical psychologist. Frequently seen cycling around Galway, she works to promote the city as a bilingual capital. 

Hildegarde Naughton

11 NEWS PL20552491Senator Hildegar.jpg
Hildegarde Naughton - Galway West. Pic Tom Burke

Fine Gael, Galway West

Hildegarde Naughton was appointed to the Seanad in 2013 by Taoiseach Enda Kenny to replace Martin McAleese. An enthusiastic singer, the primary school teacher previously starred in a local production of ‘My Fair Lady’. First elected to Galway City Council in 2009, she served a term as mayor of the city.

Danny Healy-Rae

II Dail 1 TB_3.jpg
The Healy-Rae brothers Michael D (left) and newly elected Danny pictured on arrival at Leinster House. Photo: Tom Burke

Independent, Kerry

Son of the late Independent TD Jackie Healy-Rae, Danny (61) is the brother of fellow TD Michael and the latest in the Kilgarvan dynasty to enter Leinster House. The plant-hire company owner is being replaced on Kerry County Council by his daughter Maura, while his son Johnny is already a councillor. The dynasty’s future looks secure.

John Brassil

Fianna Fáil TD John Brassil

Fianna Fáil, Kerry

John Brassil (52) worked as an engineer for 10 years before training as a pharmacist and opening his own business in Ballyheigue. He was first elected to Kerry County Council in 1999 and was re-elected on each occasion since. A father of three, he served as Cathaoirleach in 2014. His own father Noel was a councillor between 1974 and 1999.

James Lawless

Fianna Fáil, Kildare North

James Lawless (39) studied maths and finance in Trinity College and later trained as a barrister. A father of two, he lives in Sallins and he has most recently worked as head of compliance at Vhi Healthcare. First elected to Kildare County Council in 2014, he’s a GAA fan and likes taking part in 5k and 10k runs in the county.

Frank O’Rourke

Fianna Fáil, Kildare North

Originally from Leitrim, Frank O’Rourke (48) has lived in Kildare for more than two decades. The father of one worked as head of operations for Irish Tar and Bitumen Suppliers. He lives in Celbridge, was co-opted on to the county council in 2011 and elected in 2014. He is a keen dancer and has taken part in recent ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ charity events.

Fiona O’Loughlin

Fianna Fáil, Kildare South

Former school teacher Fiona O’Loughlin (52) lives in Newbridge. She has been involved in the Special Olympics organisation since the preparations for the 2003 games in Ireland when she headed the host town programme. Later she liaised with the EU for the organisation. She has been a councillor since 1999 and served as mayor of the county.

Maurice Quinlivan

Sinn Féin, Limerick City

First elected as a councillor in 2009, Maurice Quinlivan was a travel agent before entering politics. He has worked with groups dealing with drug abuse. He came to national prominence in 2010 after then-minister Willie O’Dea made a false claim that he was linked to an alleged brothel. Mr O’Dea later apologised and paid damages after a court case.

Tom Neville

Fine Gael, Limerick County

Son of departing TD Dan Neville, the new deputy’s previous occupations include DJ, radio presenter and businessman. Tom (40) began his career as a secondary school teacher and also lived in Australia for three years where he worked in recruitment and media. He was a councillor in two stints – 2003 to 2009 and from 2014 onwards.

Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran

Ind Alliance, Longford-Westmeath

Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran (48) got his nickname from a childhood football pitch altercation where he was defending a teammate. Once a Fianna Fáil councillor, the taximan ran as an Independent in 2011. Known for his work during floods in Athlone, he was endorsed by Irish rugby star and neighbour Robbie Henshaw during the 2016 campaign.

Peter Burke

Fine Gael TD Peter Burke

Fine Gael, Longford-Westmeath

A commerce graduate from NUI Galway, Peter Burke (33) is a chartered accountant. The Mullingar man was first elected to Westmeath County Council in 2009. He failed to win a seat in the 2011 General Election but got the second highest vote this time around. A horse-racing fan, Mr Burke is also involved in two local GAA clubs.

Declan Breathnach

Fianna Fáil, Louth

Father-of-two Declan Breathnach worked as a teacher and later became principal of a national school in Clogherhead. From Dundalk, he has been a long-time councillor on Louth County Council and served as Cathaoirleach twice. He is a lifelong community activist who has been involved in the Tidy Towns and tourism promotion.

Imelda Munster

Sinn Féin, Louth

From Drogheda, Imelda Munster worked in an optician’s shop before entering politics. She was first elected to Louth County Council in 2004. The mother of two was party leader Gerry Adams’ running-mate as the party took two seats. She is opposed to water charges and is critical of the effects of austerity on families in her home town.

Lisa Chambers

LX GM May 15.jpg
First-time TD Lisa Chambers, right, celebrating with her running mate Dara Calleary after they were both elected for Fianna Fáil in Mayo. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Fianna Fáil, Mayo

Barrister Lisa Chambers (29) ran in the 2011 General Election but did not win a seat. A councillor in Castlebar, she was among the first to criticise Taoiseach Enda Kenny for his ‘whingers’ remark during the election. She has been a member of the Reserve Defence Forces for 13 years and will nominate Micheál Martin as Taoiseach today.

Shane Cassells

Fianna Fáil, Meath West

A one-time sports journalist, Deputy Cassells (37) topped the poll in the constituency after more than a decade knocking on the door at Leinster House. He first ran in a 2005 by-election, having been elected as a Navan town councillor at the age of 21. A nephew of Meath All-Ireland winner Joe Cassells, he is involved in his local Navan O’Mahony’s GAA club.

Carol Nolan

Sinn Féin, Offaly

Irish language activist Carol Nolan is a primary school teacher who served as the principal of a Gaelscoil. The mother of two was elected to Offaly County Council in the Birr ward in 2014. She is the chairperson of the Kinnitty Community Playgroup and secretary of the Tidy Towns committee in Cadamstown.

Eugene Murphy

Fianna Fáil, Roscommon-Galway

Eugene Murphy (57) has a history of political success, winning every election he stood for since he was first elected to Roscommon County Council in 1985. The long-time Fianna Fáil member and father-of-two is perhaps best known as a presenter and producer with Shannonside/Northern Sound radio. He also holds a diploma in horticulture.

Marc MacSharry

Fianna Fáil, Sligo-Leitrim

Marc MacSharry (42) is the son of former finance minister and European Commissioner Ray MacSharry, who earned the nickname ‘Mac the Knife’ for his austerity budgets under Charle Haughey in the late 1980s. Marc failed to win a Dáil seat in 2011 but won election again to the Seanad. His father was active during his campaign.

Martin Kenny

Sinn Féin, Sligo-Leitrim

Martin Kenny (46) worked as a mushroom grower before being co-opted onto Leitrim County Council in 2003. He succeeds former Sinn Féin TD Michael Colreavy in the redrawn constituency. The father of four, who lives in Aughavas, Leitrim, was also a member of the party’s Ard Chomhairle.

Jackie Cahill

Fianna Fáil, Tipperary

Jackie Cahill (53) is a former president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association, National Dairy Council chairman and a member of Bord Bia. He has been a councillor in Tipperary since 2014. He has an interest in greyhound racing, owns several race hounds and is on the committee of Thurles Greyhound Stadium.

Mary Butler

Fianna Fáil, Waterford

Mary Butler (49) became the first female Fianna Fáil TD elected since 2007 when she got her Dáil seat on the first count. The mother of three continued to work part-time in a jeweller’s shop in Waterford city after first being elected to the city and county council there in 2014. The Portlaw woman is part of her local Tidy Towns committee.

David Cullinane

Sinn Féin, Waterford

David Cullinane served as a Waterford City councillor and later in the Seanad. He campaigned for an increase in the minimum wage in his role as spokesman for workers’ rights and political reform. He has been involved in the campaign to expand services at Waterford Hospital. He is separated from his wife, fellow new Sinn Féin TD Kathleen Funchion.

James Browne

Fianna Fáil, Wexford

James Browne (40) was first elected to Enniscorthy Town Council in 2009. He now follows his father John’s footsteps into the Dáil, where he held a seat for 33 years. The former Marshalstown GAA player is a barrister and has worked in the hotel industry. He previously worked in factories in Germany and on construction sites in Chicago.

John Brady

Sinn Féin, Wicklow

Father-of-five John Brady was first elected to Bray Town Council in 2004. He is well known in the county for his work on local issues. In 2014 he took a High Court action against Wicklow County Council aimed at preventing the eviction of his family from their home in a row over an attic conversion that Bray Town Council claimed posed a fire risk.

Pat Casey

Fianna Fáil, Wicklow

Hotelier Pat Casey (54) has been a councillor since 2004 – first as an Independent and later joining Fianna Fáil. He is a nephew of Bishop Eamon Casey, who was at the centre of controversy when it emerged that he had fathered a child. Owner of the Glendalough Hotel, Mr Casey’s business employs more than 70 people.


Additional reporting: Barry Lennon

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News