I am a Labour Senator in the 25th Seanad, and our party spokesperson on Dublin. I am the Labour representative in Dublin Bay South. I want to thank the thousands of constituents who supported me in the General Election in February.
Up to February 2016, I served as a¬†TD for Dublin Bay South and was Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection with special responsibility for Employment, Community and Social Support.
I became active in politics through my community, campaigning on issues related to health, community facilities, planning and the environment. I have been a member of the Labour Party for over 25 years working on local, general and¬†presidential¬†elections and referendum campaigns.
I first ran for election in 1999, becoming a Councillor for the South East Inner City ward of Dublin City Council which includes Ringsend, Irishtown, Pearse St, Portobello, Kevin Street, Beggars Bush and parts of Sandymount. The Grand Canal forms the boundary of much of that local election ward.
In 2002, I became Leader of the Labour group on Dublin City Council. I was re-elected in 2004 and 2009, topping the poll on both occasions. During that time I worked on delivering balanced budgets, two development plans for Dublin City, and the Dublin Bikes scheme ‚Äď overall, I worked towards creating a better city for all of us. I served as deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin City in 2009.
In 2011, I ran for election with Ruairi Quinn, making history in Dublin South East (now Dublin Bay South)¬†when the people elected two Labour TDs for the first time.
Until my appointment as Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection in July 2014, I¬†was Convener of the Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform in D√°il √Čireann, and also sat on the Oireachtas Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht.
First raised in Ballsbridge, my family later moved to South Lotts near Ringsend, where my family have lived and worked for generations in Boland’s Mills.
During the 1970s, I spent several years working for Ericsson installing telephone exchange systems around Ireland. I also spent a year working in Nigeria in this period.
On returning to Ireland, I married my wife Catherine, and after going through difficult times of unemployment and negative equity in the 1980s, I secured a position working in the pharmaceutical industry with LEO Pharma in Crumlin.
If there are any issues I can help you with, please don’t hesitate to contact me.