Sunday 25 February 2018

Not afraid to go into lions' den for party

Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

Despite the refined accent and gentlemanly mannerisms, there's nothing posh about Paschal Donohoe.

The Dublin Central TD certainly isn't afraid of getting his fingers dirty through hard graft.

The new European Affairs Minister has developed a reputation as a staunch, yet articulate, defender of party and government policy, going out to bat when coalition ministers go missing.

He took this approach to entire new levels during last summer's EU fiscal-treaty referendum, battling for a Yes vote at every opportunity.

During the campaign, the Fine Gael TD took the brave move of arguing the Yes case at a United Left Alliance referendum debate.

The event was held in the Larkin Hall of Liberty Hall, where banners of union branches, dating back almost a century, hang on the walls.

However, he rebutted any suggestion he was "in the lions' den" as a Fine Gael TD in such a revered bastion of socialism.


"I came into this building with my father years ago to collect his strike pay when his factory was on strike," he said.

The future FG minister revealed himself to be more leftie than the lefties themselves.

When Taoiseach Enda Kenny moved immediately to replace Lucinda Creighton, there was only one name in mind. Ironically, Mr Donohoe is regarded as a good friend of Ms Creighton's.

Appointing Mr Donohoe, the Taoiseach said Mr Donohoe had developed "a deep understanding of European issues".

Mr Kenny appointed him as chairperson of the special Oireachtas Committee to review the result of the first Lisbon Treaty referendum and he has served as vice chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs.

Aged 38, Mr Donohoe is married to Justine and the couple have two children.

He was first elected as a member of Dublin City Council in 2004, to the Seanad in 2007 and to the Dail in 2011.

He was formerly a sales manager with a multi-national.

Irish Independent

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