Willie Penrose (born 1 August 1956) is a former Irish Labour Party politician who has served as Chairman of the Labour Parliamentary Party since February 2016. He previously served as Minister of State for Housing and Planning from March 2011 to November 2011. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1992 to 2020.[1][2]

Willie Penrose
Willie Penrose 2005 cropped.jpg
Chairman of the Labour Parliamentary Party
Assumed office
29 February 2016
Leader
Preceded byJack Wall
Minister of State for Housing and Planning
In office
9 March 2011 – 15 November 2011
TaoiseachEnda Kenny
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded byJan O'Sullivan
Teachta Dála
In office
May 2007 – February 2020
ConstituencyLongford–Westmeath
In office
November 1992 – May 2007
ConstituencyWestmeath
Personal details
Born
William Penrose

(1956-08-01) 1 August 1956 (age 63)
Ballynacargy, County Westmeath, Ireland
NationalityIrish
Political partyLabour Party
(1969–2011), (2013–)
Other political
affiliations
Independent (2011–13)
Spouse(s)Anne Fitzsimons
Children3
Education
Alma mater

Early lifeEdit

Penrose was born in Ballynacargy, County Westmeath in 1956. He was educated at St. Mary's CBS, Mullingar; Coláiste Mhuire, Mullingar; Multyfarnham Agricultural College; University College Dublin (UCD), and the King's Inns. At UCD he studied Agricultural Science, graduating in 1979 with a bachelor's degree; after graduation, with a colleague, he formed an agricultural consultancy firm in Mullingar. In 1986 he took up the position of advisor to the Minister of State at the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Tourism, Michael Moynihan, resigning from the agricultural consultancy to do so.

Political careerEdit

Early daysEdit

In 1984, Penrose was co-opted on to Westmeath County Council, and a year later, he ran in the local elections, winning his seat in the Mullingar Lough Owel constituency by a margin of just six votes. In the 1991 local elections, he topped the poll in the Mullingar Rural Area.[citation needed]

Dáil Éireann: 1992–2020Edit

He qualified as a barrister in 1990, before entering into national politics. At the 1992 general election he was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a TD for the Westmeath constituency.[3] On that occasion the Labour Party won a record 33 Dáil seats, a feat surpassed at the 2011 general election.

In 2002, Penrose was a candidate for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party. Although he was part of a joint ticket with Pat Rabbitte, who won the leadership comfortably, he was narrowly defeated for the deputy leadership by Liz McManus, polling 1,636 votes to McManus's 1,728.

Minister of State: 2011Edit

On 10 March 2011, he was appointed as Minister of State for Housing and Planning.

On 15 November 2011, he announced his resignation as Minister of State, due to his opposition to the government's decision to close Columb Barracks in Mullingar.[4] Penrose said: "I understand and appreciate that significant efforts were made by my Labour colleagues in government, who fully understood the depths of my feelings in this regard, to resolve this matter, but to no avail."[5][6] He also resigned the Labour parliamentary party whip.[2]

In February 2012, The Phoenix magazine contrasted Penrose who "eats at the PLP tables in the Dáil restaurant and is often seen chatting to Gilmore on the corridors" with two other backbenchers who lost the party whip, Tommy Broughan and Patrick Nulty, both of whom had been "banished" from the Labour parliamentary offices.[7]

2012–2020Edit

Penrose rejoined the parliamentary Labour Party in October 2013.[8] He was narrowly re-elected to the Dáil at the 2016 general election, the last of just seven Labour TDs to secure election.

On 5 July 2018, he announced that he would not contest the next general election.[9] Alan Mangan was selected as his replacement for the 2020 general election, but Mangan was not elected.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Willie Penrose". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  2. ^ a b Cullen, Paul; Minihan, Mary (16 November 2011). "Minister's resignation increases fears over budget cuts". The Irish Times.
  3. ^ "Willie Penrose". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  4. ^ "Penrose quits on barracks issue". The Irish Times. 15 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Penrose quits Cabinet over barracks closure". RTÉ News. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  6. ^ "Labour's Penrose resigns from Government over barracks closure". Irish Independent. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Penrose by any other name" (PDF). The Phoenix. 10 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Penrose welcomed 'back into Labour fold' by Gilmore". TheJournal.ie. 7 October 2013.
  9. ^ Mullooly, Ciaran (5 July 2018). "Penrose says he will not contest next general election". RTÉ News. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Mangan 'up to the challenge' of retaining Labour seat". Westmeath Examiner. 6 July 2018.

External linksEdit

Oireachtas
New constituency Labour Party Teachta Dála for Westmeath
19922007
Constituency abolished
New constituency Labour Party Teachta Dála for Longford–Westmeath
20072020
Succeeded by
Sorca Clarke
(Sinn Féin)
Political offices
New office Minister of State for Housing and Planning
2011
Succeeded by
Jan O'Sullivan