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Clare Daly (born 16 April 1968) is an Irish politician who has been a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Ireland for the Dublin constituency since July 2019. She is a member of Independents 4 Change, part of the European United Left–Nordic Green Left. She served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 2011 to 2019.[1]

Clare Daly

Clare Daly.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
Assumed office
2 July 2019
Teachta Dála
In office
February 2016 – July 2019
ConstituencyDublin Fingal
In office
February 2011 – February 2016
ConstituencyDublin North
Personal details
Born (1968-04-16) 16 April 1968 (age 51)
Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland
Political party Irish:
Independents 4 Change
Other political
United Left (2013–15)
Socialist Party (1996–2012)
Labour Party (until 1989)
Spouse(s)Michael Murphy (m. 1999)
Alma materDublin City University

Daly was elected as a Socialist Party TD for the Dublin North constituency at the 2011 general election.[2] Previously a Socialist Party Councillor for the Swords electoral area on Fingal County Council, she resigned from the Socialist Party on 31 August 2012, redesignating herself as a United Left Alliance TD.[3]


Early lifeEdit

Daly is from Newbridge, County Kildare. Her father, Kevin Daly, was a Colonel in the Irish Army and Director of Signals. She is a long-standing atheist, though her brother and an uncle are in the Catholic priesthood.[4] Daly studied accountancy at Dublin City University.[4] She was twice elected president of the Students' Union and was prominent in the students' movement campaign for abortion rights and information. On leaving college she took a job in the catering section of Aer Lingus on a low wage,[4] and became SIPTU's shop steward at Dublin Airport when the airline was engaged in extensive cost-cutting and outsourcing. Daly was elected to the Labour Party's Administrative Committee as a youth representative. She was expelled from the Labour Party in 1989 alongside Joe Higgins and other supporters of the Militant tendency.


Local politicsEdit

On 19 September 2003, Daly was jailed for a month, alongside 21 others from the Anti-Bin Tax Campaign for breaching a High Court order preventing protests leading to obstruction of the council's non-collection policy for those not paying bin charges.[5][6] She was also an organiser of the Anti-Water charges campaign in Swords in the mid-1990s.

Daly was elected as a Fingal County Councillor for the Swords area in the 1999 local elections. She was re-elected at the 2004 local elections and the 2009 local elections, topping the poll on each occasion.

Dáil ÉireannEdit

She first ran for a seat in Dáil Éireann at the 1997 general election, receiving 7.2% on that occasion and 8.2% at the by-election later in the year. At the 2002 general election she received 5,501 votes (12.5%), narrowly missing a seat. At the 2007 general election she received 9% of the vote.

Daly was eventually elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2011 general election, taking 15.2% of the first preference vote.[7][8] She committed to facilitating the nomination of Senator David Norris for a place on the ballot paper ahead of the 2011 presidential election.[9]

She announced that she would not register to pay a new household charge brought in as part of the latest austerity budget, calling it "reprehensible", and telling Phil Hogan, the minister responsible, in the Dáil: "You can't bring everyone to court".[10][11]

In February 2012, it was reported that she would introduce a bill to provide for limited access to abortion where there is “real and substantial risk to the life” of the pregnant woman, in line with the X Case. The bill was defeated before its second reading on 19 April 2012.[12]

In June 2012, Daly refused to call for the resignation of her friend and political ally, Mick Wallace in the wake of his VAT controversy.[13] It was reported that the ULA were to confront her over this stance.[14]

In July 2012, it was revealed she had used travel expenses for travelling to anti-household charge meetings.[15][16][17]

She resigned from the Socialist Party on 31 August 2012.[3] In a statement, the Socialist Party said "it believed Ms Daly had resigned because she placed more value on her political connection with Independent TD Mick Wallace than on the political positions and work of the Socialist Party."[18] This claim was dismissed by Daly as "absolute nonsense", who stated that she had not called for Wallace's resignation because the Socialist Party had not called for his resignation.[19] She requested a share of the €120,000 Socialist Party's Leaders Allowance to allow her to continue to fund her activities as an Independent TD.[20]

In April 2013, along with another TD, Joan Collins, she founded a new political party called United Left.[21]

Following the 39th G8 summit, Daly accused the Fine Gael-Labour government of “prostituting” the country to President Barack Obama and criticised what she described as media and political "slobbering" over his wife Michelle and their children during their stay in Ireland. She also called Obama a hypocrite and a war criminal for speaking about peace whilst using drones to bomb foreign civilians and wanting to supply weapons to Syrian rebels. Taoiseach Enda Kenny responded to her comments, saying they were "disgraceful" and "beneath you" and invoked the diaspora and to the victims of The Troubles since President Obama has supported peace in Northern Ireland.[22][23][24][25][26][27]

In May 2015, Daly's passion compared to that of others such as Micheál Martin and Gerry Adams during her questioning of Taoiseach Enda Kenny over the sale of Aer Lingus was remarked upon by media.[28]

In December 2015, Daly along with independent TDs Mick Wallace and Maureen O'Sullivan each put forward offers of a €5,000 surety for a 23-year-old man being prosecuted under terrorism legislation in the Special Criminal Court in Dublin charged with membership of an illegal dissident republican terrorist organisation.[29]

At the 2016 general election, she stood as an Independents 4 Change candidate in the Dublin Fingal constituency, and was elected.[30]

European ParliamentEdit

At the 2019 European Parliament elections, she was elected for the Dublin constituency. She received a final total of 87,770 votes and took the third seat.[31]


  1. ^ "Here are all the Irish candidates who have been elected to the European Parliament (so far)". Journal. 30 May 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Clare Daly". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Clare Daly resigns from the Socialist Party". RTÉ News. 1 September 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "How firebrand Clare left the Socialists reeling". Sunday Independent. 9 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Jail sentences for Joe Higgins and Clare Daly". 19 September 2003.
  6. ^ Managh, Ray (18 September 2003). "TD and councillor risk jail in bin tax protest". Irish Independent.
  7. ^ "Clare Daly". Retrieved 28 March 2011.
  8. ^ Minihan, Mary (28 February 2011). "Higgins pledges to build new party of left as five elected under ULA banner". The Irish Times.
  9. ^ Nihill, Cían (19 September 2011). "Boost for Norris as left-wing TDs to support nomination". The Irish Times.
  10. ^ "Higgins urges public to boycott 'unjust' €100 Household Charge". The Journal. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  11. ^ O'Halloran, Marie; O'Regan, Michael (14 December 2011). "Kenny defends household charge". The Irish Times. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  12. ^ "Abortion legislation to be tabled". Irish Times. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  13. ^ Irish Independent, 16 June 2012, Weekend Review, Page 3
  14. ^ O'Connor, N. (26 June 2012). "Wallace no longer on speaking terms with his former pals in the technical group". The Herald. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  15. ^ "Legal advice sought on TD expenses claims". RTÉ News. 4 July 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  16. ^ McEnroe, J. (4 July 2012). "Dáil seeks legal advice on TD expenses claims". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  17. ^ Brennan, M. (4 July 2012). "Expenses not for TD's to travel to protests – Leinster House". Irish Independent. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  18. ^ Carr, A. (1 September 2012). "Daly resigns from Socialist Party". The Irish Times. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  19. ^ "Clare Daly denies exit from Socialist Party linked to Mick Wallace". RTÉ News. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  20. ^ O'Brien, T. (3 September 2012). "Daly departure to hit allowances". The Irish Times. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  21. ^ O'Connell, Hugh (25 April 2013). "Two TDs setting up new United Left political party". Distilled Media. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  22. ^ Kelly, F. (19 June 2013). "'Ireland prostituted to Obamas' rages Clare Daly". Irish Independent. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  23. ^ "We were showcased as a 'nation of pimps' during Obama visit – Daly: TD says she wouldn't have been surprised to have seen ministers dressed up in leprechaun hats". 19 June 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  24. ^ "Ireland 'pimped out like prostitutes' to 'war criminal' Obama". 19 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  25. ^ Daly, C.; Kenny, E. (19 June 2013). Leaders Questions on the G8 and the visit of the Obamas to Ireland. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  26. ^ Daly, C. (21 June 2013). "Unquestionable adoration of Obama is ludicrous". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  27. ^ Siddiqui, S. (21 June 2013). "Clare Daly, Irish Politician, Slams Obama As 'War Criminal' In Parliament". Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  28. ^ O'Halloran, Marie. "TDs fall silent in awe as Independent socialist rises to take on Taoiseach". The Irish Times. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  29. ^ Hickey, Daniel (17 December 2015). "Mick Wallace and Clare Daly among sureties on bail application for man arrested on IRA and explosive charges". Irish Independent. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  30. ^ "Independents 4 Change". Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  31. ^ Bray, Jennifer (28 May 2019). "Clare Daly says she will 'rattle the cages' in Europe". The Irish Times. Retrieved 20 June 2019.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Trevor Sargent
(Green Party)
Teachta Dála for Dublin North
Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
New constituency
Teachta Dála for Dublin Fingal