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Brian Hayes moving the family in EU role

Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes is moving his entire family to Brussels as he aims to concentrate on his work in the European Parliament.

Mr Hayes' three children will be going to school next month in a town outside the Belgian capital, where the family will be living.

The former junior minister is married to Genevieve, and they have three children, Mark (12), Ellen (10) and Michael (eight). The family currently live in Tallaght.

Although it is common for continental MEPs to move their families to Brussels, Mr Hayes is believed to be the first Irish member of the European Parliament to take the step.

The new MEP said the children of political staff at the EU institutions can attend the European schools in Brussels.

"We are going to give it a go for a year or so. We have had a long discussion about it. They want to give it a lash," he said.

"If you are a kid of any of the people who work in the Council, the Commission or the Parliament, you can attend these schools.

"They are still young enough to make the change. We are very much looking forward to it. It's a different school system but they go in at the ages they are at."

Mr Hayes will be living in the town of Laeken during the week and returning to Dublin at the weekend to do constituency work.


He is opening a new office in Dublin in the coming weeks, which will be staffed all the time.

"To take it seriously, you have to be there Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday," he said.

"It's the committee work that matters."

Mr Hayes is Ireland's only member on the influential Economic Committee of the European Parliament.

"I am aware of lots of people in the EPP who do it and base their family in Brussels," he said.

"I spoke to some colleagues and it works for them.

"Because we have a strong constituency element to the role, the commitment is that I will be back every single week.

"It's only one hour and 20 minutes on a plane. It's not like it's Outer Mongolia."