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Michael Fitzmaurice (born 18 September 1969) is an Irish Independent politician who has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Roscommon–Galway constituency since the 2016 general election.[1] He previously sat as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Roscommon–South Leitrim constituency from 2014 to 2016.[2]

Michael Fitzmaurice

Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2016
ConstituencyRoscommon–Galway
In office
October 2014 – February 2016
ConstituencyRoscommon–South Leitrim
Personal details
Born (1969-09-18) 18 September 1969 (age 49)
Glins, County Galway, Ireland
NationalityIrish
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Maria Fitzmaurice (m. 2001)
Children3
Websitemichaelfitzmaurice.ie

Before becoming a politician, Fitzmaurice used to run an agricultural and turf contracting business.[3] He is the Chair of the Turf Cutters and Contractors Association.

Political careerEdit

He was elected to Galway County Council for the Tuam area at the local elections held in May 2014.[4] He entered national politics in a by-election caused by the election of Luke 'Ming' Flanagan to the European Parliament. He was endorsed by Flanagan.

He was a founding member of the Independent Alliance, which was formed in 2015.[5] On 18 May 2016, Fitzmaurice, was the only Independent Alliance TD to vote against Enda Kenny as Taoiseach. He later announced that day he was leaving the group and would not join the government.[6]

PoliciesEdit

Fitzmaurice is in favour of cutting "turf" (peat). Turbary rights have been affected by the Habitats Directive, which has resulted in the protection of some raised bogs in Ireland since the 1990s.[7] As at the end of 2018 protection of some bogs as Special Areas of Conservation remains in force, but Fitzmaurice and other politicians have succeeded in removing protection from some bogs designated as Natural Heritage Areas under the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000.[8]

He supports water meters, although he thinks some usage should be free to consumers.

Fitzmaurice is a critic of environmental vegetarianism. Defending Irish livestock farmers, he criticised the former Irish president Mary Robinson for advocating reduced meat and dairy consumption so that people have a lower carbon footprint.[9] Along with several other TDs, he later criticised Leo Varadkar for comments about trying to reduce his consumption of meat.[10]

He has spoken of wanting to make constitutional changes that would prevent a government from falling if it lost a vote on legislation.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Michael Fitzmaurice". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Michael Fitzmaurice wins in Roscommon/South-Leitrim by-election". RTÉ News. 11 October 2014.
  3. ^ "My Farming Week". Irish Farmers Journal. 15 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Michael Fitzmaurice". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Feargal Quinn to announce he is to join Independent Alliance". The Irish Times. 29 June 2015.
  6. ^ Gallagher, Páraic (18 May 2016). "Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice quits Independent Alliance". Newstalk FM. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  7. ^ "'This is about heritage and tradition': Turf cutters say the new bogs strategy won't solve the problem". TheJournal.ie. 22 December 2017.
  8. ^ Farragher, F (20 December 2018). "West's own coalition succeeds in de-designating". Connacht Tribune.
  9. ^ "Independent TD calls Mary Robinson's advice to stop eating meat 'bizarre and unhelpful'". TheJournal.ie. 29 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Taoiseach's comments on meat could impact agri business, says Fitzmaurice". Irish Examiner. 15 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Turf-cutter to reshape political landscape". Sunday Independent. 14 December 2014.
Oireachtas
Preceded by
Luke 'Ming' Flanagan
(Independent)
Independent Teachta Dála for Roscommon–South Leitrim
2014–present
Incumbent