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Saturday 24 February 2018

UCD leading the field with 39 deputies

UCD is the clear winner among third-level colleges for producing the most TDs. It has 39 former students in the Dail.

This is partly due to its economics and politics degree course, which attracted several budding politicians to study there.

It is far ahead of Trinity, which educated 17 TDs. University College Cork also produced 17 TDs, including Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin.

NUI Maynooth and NUI Galway have 11 TDs each.

Seven TDs attended St Patrick's Teacher Training College in Drumcondra in Dublin in the Dail – the highest number from any third-level institution.

They include Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin. They account for three of the four members of the "war cabinet" known as the Economic Management Council, which carried out key work on the Budget before it went to the wider cabinet.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton attended Oxford and Independent TD Stephen Donnelly went to Harvard in Boston. But one fifth of TDs have no third level or further education qualification listed. They include Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams (pictured above) – who spent some years in Long Kesh prison.

Most of these TDs were in school at a time when it was very expensive to attend third level and when general levels of participation were much lower. Others went directly into the workforce or set up their own businesses, before running for the Dail.

In contrast, almost all the intake of new TDs – who were mostly educated after the abolition of third-level fees in 1995 – have a third level or further qualification.

Irish Independent

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