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Joseph Costello (born 13 July 1945) is an Irish Labour Party politician who served as Minister of State for Trade and Development from 2011 to 2014. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin Central constituency from 1992 to 1997 and from 2002 to 2016. He was a Senator for the Administrative Panel from 1989 to 1992 and from 1997 to 2002.[1] He served as a Councillor on Dublin City Council from 1999 until the end of the dual mandate lead to him passing the seat to his wife Emer Costello. He was re-elected to the Council in 2019.

Joe Costello
Joe Costello 2013.jpg
Minister of State for Trade and Development
In office
20 December 2011 – 15 July 2014
TaoiseachEnda Kenny
Preceded byJan O'Sullivan
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Teachta Dála
In office
May 2002 – February 2016
In office
November 1992 – June 1997
ConstituencyDublin Central
In office
24 July 1997 – 12 May 2002
In office
30 November 1989 – 27 November 1992
ConstituencyAdministrative Panel
Personal details
Joseph Costello

(1945-07-13) 13 July 1945 (age 74)
Geevagh, County Sligo, Ireland
Political partyLabour Party
Spouse(s)Emer Costello (m. 1994)
EducationSummerhill College
Alma mater

Costello was born in Geevagh, County Sligo and was educated at Summerhill College, Sligo, St Patrick's College, Maynooth and University College Dublin. He worked as a secondary school teacher before becoming a full-time public representative.[2]

Joe Costello's office 2007

He joined the Labour Party in 1985, and in 1989 he was elected to the 19th Seanad Éireann on the Administrative Panel.[3] He remained there until the 1992 general election when he was elected to Dáil Éireann. Costello lost his seat at the 1997 general election but was subsequently elected to the Seanad again. Costello was re-elected to the Dáil at the 2002 and 2007 general elections.[3]

His wife Emer Costello is a former MEP for Dublin.[citation needed] He was director of elections for Michael D. Higgins during the 2011 presidential election.[4]

On 20 December 2011, he was appointed as Minister of State for Trade and Development, a position he served in until 15 July 2014.[4] He was dropped as a Minister of State in a reshuffle in July 2014.[5] He was then appointed to the Dáil Public Accounts Committee.

He lost his seat at the 2016 general election.[3] Costello made national headlines in 2017 when he said a snap election could breach the Irish Constitution, as constituencies needed to be revised to take account of changes in population in the 2016 Census.[6]


  1. ^ "Mr. Joe Costello". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  2. ^ "Joe Costello TD – Biography". Labour Party website. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  3. ^ a b c "Joe Costello". Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Jan O'Sullivan named 'super junior' minister". RTÉ News. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  5. ^ "Simon Harris among new Ministers of State". RTÉ News. 15 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Costello goes to High Court over constituency revisions". 2017-11-27. Retrieved 2017-11-28.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Constituency redrawn
Labour Party Teachta Dála for Dublin Central
Succeeded by
Marian McGennis
(Fianna Fáil)
Preceded by
Jim Mitchell
(Fine Gael)
Labour Party Teachta Dála for Dublin Central
Succeeded by
Constituency redrawn
Political offices
Preceded by
Jan O'Sullivan
Minister of State for Trade and Development
Succeeded by
Office abolished