Tim O'Malley (politician)

Tim O'Malley (born 3 July 1944) is an Irish former politician who served as Minister of State for Mental Health Services and Food Safety from 2002 to 2007. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Limerick East constituency from 2002 to 2007.[1]

Tim O'Malley
Minister of State
2002–2007Health and Children
Teachta Dála
In office
May 2002 – May 2007
ConstituencyLimerick East
Personal details
Born (1944-07-03) 3 July 1944 (age 79)
Limerick, Ireland
Political partyIndependent
Other political
Progressive Democrats (until 2009)
EducationCrescent College
Alma materUniversity College Dublin

O'Malley was born in Barrington Street in Limerick. He was educated at Crescent College, Limerick and University College Dublin where he received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy. Before entering electoral politics, O'Malley managed his own pharmacy in the Limerick city suburb of Dooradoyle. He served as president of the Irish Pharmaceutical Union, the representative body for over 1,400 community pharmacies in Ireland. He was also awarded a fellowship by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland for services rendered to the profession. He later withdrew from management and ownership of the pharmacy business to concentrate full-time on politics.

He first held political office in 1991 when he was elected to Limerick County Council. O'Malley was elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2002 general election.[2]

In 2001, he was appointed Health spokesperson for the Progressive Democrats, and successfully spearheaded his party's campaign to have a Treatment Purchase Fund included in the Government Health Strategy, as a means of reducing public patient waiting lists in Irish hospitals.

When O'Malley was in government, he set up an expert group to formulate National policy for Mental Health in Ireland. In 2003, he called for the Health Board system to be abolished.[3] In 2006, he launched the new policy Vision For Change and it became government policy. He was very involved in bringing radiotherapy services to Limerick, in spite of national reports which said that there should only be three radiotherapy centres in Ireland, in Dublin, Cork and Galway. O'Malley also convinced his ministerial colleagues that a new graduate-entry medical school should be set up in the University of Limerick.

In December of that year, he came under increasing pressure from opposition TDs to resign following a Prime Time Investigates television programme broadcast on RTÉ One which criticised the lack of mental health services available for Irish children. He implied in the programme that long waiting lists for psychiatric services were in some cases engineered by psychiatrists themselves in search of a feeling of power.[4]

He lost his seat at the 2007 general election.

See also



  1. ^ "Tim O'Malley". Oireachtas Members Database. Archived from the original on 29 May 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
  2. ^ "Tim O'Malley". ElectionsIreland.org. Archived from the original on 29 May 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
  3. ^ "O'Malley calls for end to health board system". RTÉ News. 12 April 2003. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  4. ^ "O'Malley claims people like to have hospital waiting lists". RTÉ News. 5 December 2006. Archived from the original on 9 March 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of State for Disability and Mental Health
Succeeded by