Saturday 17 March 2018

Profile: A family steeped in the party

A SITTING Athlone town and Westmeath county councillor, Ms McFadden (47) comes from a family heavily steeped in Fine Gael.

Daughter of Kitty and Brendan, her father served for more than 25 years on the local town and county councils. He died last November, aged 83.

Gabrielle first ran for office in 2009, and was elected to Westmeath County Council on the seventh count, with 892 votes.

She is one of three children – she has a sister, Aine, while the death of her other sister, Nicky, from Motor Neurone Disease in March this year resulted in the Dail vacancy.

A former bank official, she managed the family business before making the move full-time into politics. She did not contest the local elections, saying she wanted to focus on the by-election.

She was the only female candidate in the field.

The Mayor of Athlone in 2013, she is married to Brian McLean, a clinical psychologist. She has two teenage children, Katie and Luke.

She will begin work today, taking over the office in Leinster House left vacant by Nicky. She said her priority was to secure jobs in the constituency, and helping to restore the economy.

Irish Independent Supplement

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