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Seán Ó Fearghaíl (pronounced [ˈʃaːn̪ˠ oː ˈfʲaɾˠɣiːlʲ], /ˈʃɔːn ˈfærl/; born 17 April 1960) is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who has served as the Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann since March 2016. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Kildare South constituency since 2002. He was a Senator, elected by the Agricultural Panel, from 2000 to 2002.[1]

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Seán Ó Fearghaíl 2016.jpg
Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann
Assumed office
10 March 2016
DeputyPat "the Cope" Gallagher
Preceded bySeán Barrett
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
May 2002
ConstituencyKildare South
In office
13 June 2000 – 20 May 2002
ConstituencyAgricultural Panel
Personal details
Born (1960-04-17) 17 April 1960 (age 59)
Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland
Political partyFianna Fáil
Spouse(s)Mary Clare Meaney (m. 1997)
Alma materDublin City University
Ó Fearghaíl's constituency office, Kildare

Life and careerEdit

Ó Fearghaíl comes from a farming background, and previously worked for Dublin Corporation. He was elected as a member of Kildare County Council in 1985. He first stood for election to Dáil Éireann in the Kildare constituency at the 1987 general election, but was unsuccessful.[2] He was unsuccessful again at the 1989 general election.

After further defeats at the 1992 and 1997 general elections, he stood for Seanad Éireann in 1997, as a candidate before the Agricultural Panel. He was defeated, but won a seat in the 21st Seanad at a by-election held in June 2000, after the death of Patrick McGowan.[3]

Ó Fearghaíl won a Dáil seat on his fifth attempt, at the 2002 general election, when he defeated the sitting Fine Gael TD Alan Dukes.[2] At the 2007 general election he topped the poll and was elected on the first count. He was re-elected at the 2011 general election and at the 2016 general election.

He was the Fianna Fáil party whip and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade from April 2011 to July 2012. In July 2012, he was appointed as Spokesperson on Constitutional Reform, Arts and Culture, and Defence, while retaining the post of party whip. Ó Fearghaíl sent Éamon Ó Cuív a letter gagging him during the European Fiscal Compact referendum campaign, after Ó Cuív expressed his own opinion of the Compact against the party's wishes.[4]

He was elected as Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann, by the members, at the first sitting of the 32nd Dáil on 10 March 2016.[5] This was the first time the position was filled by secret ballot.


  1. ^ "Seán Ó Fearghaíl". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Seán Ó Fearghail". Retrieved 22 November 2007. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  3. ^ "Members of the 21st Seanad 1997–2002". Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 22 November 2007.
  4. ^ "Ó Cuív say he will remain in Fianna Fáil". BBC News. 8 May 2012.
  5. ^

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Alan Dukes
(Fine Gael)
Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for Kildare South
Political offices
Preceded by
Seán Barrett
Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann