Sunday 17 December 2017

Former Leinster House grandees turned Lobbyists Compiled by Daniel McConnell

The most influential

Daniel McConnell

Daniel McConnell

Frank Flannery

(Fine Gael)

Until last week, Director of Operations for Fine Gael, lobbyist for Rehab, former CEO of Rehab, former chairman of Philanthropy Ireland.

Brendan Halligan


Former Labour TD, former Labour General Secretary turned lobbyist. Current chairman of the IIEA, current chairman of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.Mark Mortell

(Fine Gael)

Has very close links to FG and was central to its 2011 General Election strategy. The Fleishman-Hillard director is a former FG councillor and friend of Enda Kenny for over 30 years. Some consider him to be one of Enda's closest advisers.Tony Heffernan


Until 2011, he was a significant figure at the top of the Labour Party. Former press director and Deputy Government Press Secretary, he oversaw Michael D Higgins's successful presidential campaign. Now an Account Director with DHR Communications. Stephen O'Byrnes


Now leads MKC Communications Political Lobbying (Public Affairs) team. The ex-journalist worked with the PDs' press office between 1986 and 1995. Was the party's Government Press Secretary in the 1989–1992 coalition with Fianna Fail.


Pat Carey

Former Fianna Fail government minister turned public policy adviser specialising in overseas development and voluntary sector.

Batt O'Keeffe

Former Education Minister and close friend of Brian Cowen set up his own firm, Bok Consulting Ltd in 2011, with his son Mark. Has acted as government liaison for numerous firms and parties.

Noel Dempsey

Former Transport Minister is another self-declared public affairs consultant. Appointed chairman of the Temple Bar Company recently. Offers "public affairs and government relations advice" to client companies.

Dick Roche

Involved in the Skill Set agency since March 2011. Very active in Europe given his time as Minister for European Affairs in the Fianna Fail government.

Liz O'Donnell

Former PD minister, O'Donnell is another sole-trading consultant in "government relations and public affairs". A columnist with the Irish Independent, she also has made a number of TV appearances.


Jim Miley

One-time RTE journalist, Fine Gael General Secretary, and Concern chairman. Recently was project director of The Gathering.

Bill O'Herlihy

Well-known PR man and RTE sports broadcaster. Former FG media adviser to Garrett FitzGerald. Was criticised last year for lobbying on behalf of the tobacco industry.

Olwyn Enright

Former FG TD for Laois-Offaly left politics in 2011. Is now a Director of Public Affairs at Edelman.

Liam Cahill

One-time RTE journalist, Cahill was adviser to the late Shane McEntee and former researcher and adviser to Pat Rabbitte during his time as Labour leader. Was involved in the RISE campaign on behalf of rural sports.

Alan Dukes

Former FG leader and later chairman of Anglo Irish Bank turned IBRC has also been a consultant with and director of Wilson Hartnell PR.

Karl Brophy

Former FG press officer and political correspondent. A one-time INM executive turned lobbyist for, among others, British American Tobacco. His Red Flag company has offices in Dublin, London and Brussels.


Fintan Drury

Former journalist turned PR guru and Anglo Director. Central player in the controversial Brian Cowen/Sean FitzPatrick golf game in Druids Glen in 2010.

Gerard Howlin

Former special adviser and speech-writer for Bertie Ahern. He left the Taoiseach's office in autumn 2007. Joined Stephen O'Byrnes' MKC the following year as a lobbyist and PR adviser. During 2011 he was spokesman for the pharmacists' union but is now working for himself. A frequent columnist and pundit in national media.

PJ Mara

Former Government Press Secretary to Charlie Haughey and former two-time senator. Also served as a FF director of elections. Now works for Denis O'Brien's Digicel mobile phone company.

Martin Mackin

Founding Partner at Q4PR. A former General Secretary of Fianna Fail from January 1998 until early 2003, Mackin was chief strategist with regard to campaigning and election strategy.

Jim Glennon

Non-executive chairman of Edelmen, the former Dublin North TD, senator and Leinster rugby player and coach, Glennon is a familiar voice on the airwaves. Specialises in public affairs and sports.

Cathal Lee

Fianna Fail activist, campaign manager for Sean Gallagher in 2011 presidential election. Worked in the Houses of the Oireachtas for three years with (former) senator Geraldine Feeney, the late senator Kieran Phelan & current senator Diarmuid Wilson.

Richard Moore

Formidable former special adviser to Dermot Ahern, Moore is a familiar face around the Leinster House environs. Now MD at MComm Communications Consultants, specialising in healthcare, technology and education.


Tom Parlon

Former PD minister who lost his Laois-Offaly seat in 2007. Became the head of the developers' lobby group, the Construction Industry Federation (CIF).

Michael Parker

Former General Secretary of the PDs, heads up Insight Communications which acts for Rehab.

Iarla Mongey

One-time journalist turned Deputy Government Press Secretary and press adviser to Mary Harney. Now head of Public Affairs with Drury Porter Novelli.

Ray Gordon

Former PD spokesman, Gordon now runs his own Dublin-based agency, acting on behalf of such clients as Nama, the NTMA and the Irish Medical Organisation.

Derek Cunningham

Another former PD adviser turned public relations agent, Cunningham worked as special adviser to Mary Harney for six years. Out on his own since 2011, he specialises in representative/trade union, health and corporate affairs.

Sunday Independent

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