Jim Higgins (Irish politician)

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For other people named Jim Higgins, see Jim Higgins (disambiguation).
Jim Higgins
Jim-Higgins-Ireland-MIP-Europaparlament-by-Leila-Paul-3.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
In office
June 2004 – May 2014
Constituency North-West
Government Chief Whip
In office
24 May 1995 – 26 June 1997
Preceded by Seán Barrett
Succeeded by Séamus Brennan
Minister of State at the Department of Defence
In office
24 May 1995 – 26 June 1997
Preceded by Seán Barrett
Succeeded by Séamus Brennan
Minister of State at the Department of Finance
In office
10 February 1995 – 24 May 1995
Preceded by Phil Hogan
Succeeded by Hugh Coveney
Senator
In office
February 1983 – February 1987
Constituency Labour Panel
In office
October 1981 – April 1982
Constituency Nominated by the Taoiseach
Teachta Dála
In office
February 1987 – May 2002
Constituency Mayo
Mayo East (1987–97)
Personal details
Born (1945-05-04) 4 May 1945 (age 69)
Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Fine Gael
Alma mater University College Galway
Website www.jimhiggins.ie
Video Statement (English) / (Gaelic)

Jim Higgins (born 4 May 1945) is an Irish former Fine Gael politician. He served as a member of Seanad Éireann, Dáil Éireann, and was an EPP Member of the European Parliament for the North-West constituency from 2004 to 2014.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo in 1945. He was educated at St. Jarlath's College, Tuam and at University College Galway. He was twice named Best Individual Speaker at the Junior Chamber Ireland debating championships (1978, 1979) and was the captain of the International Tripartite Debating Team. Higgins worked as a secondary school teacher before becoming involved in local politics.

Political career[edit]

He served as a member of Mayo County Council from 1979–1995, acting as Vice-Chairman of the Council from 1980–1981. He first ran for Dáil Éireann at the 1981 general election, but was unsuccessful. However, he was nominated by the Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald to the 15th Seanad Éireann.[1]

He lost his Seanad seat in 1982 but was elected to the 17th Seanad by the Labour Panel in 1983, remaining in the upper house until 1987 as a member of the 17th Seanad. He was successful at the 1987 general election, winning a seat in the 25th Dáil as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) for Mayo East. He was re-elected to the Dáil in 1989, 1992 and 1997.

In 1994 the Rainbow Coalition of Fine Gael, Labour Party and Democratic Left came to power and Higgins was appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Finance. The following year he became Minister of State at the Departments of the Taoiseach and Defence, as well as Chief Whip of the government. He remained in that position until a Fianna FáilProgressive Democrats coalition took office after the 1997 general election.

Like many of his Fine Gael colleagues at the 2002 general election, Higgins lost his seat in the Mayo constituency. However, he was elected to Seanad Éireann by the Labour Panel, becoming a member of the 22nd Seanad.[2]

For over two years he brought to the Dáil the case of the extended McBrearty family who were wrongly accused of murder. He raised allegations of Garda corruption in County Donegal. He was also responsible for bringing before the Dáil a £30 million overspend by the state transport company Iarnród Éireann on a safety signalling system which led to the establishment of an all-party parliamentary inquiry.

European Parliament[edit]

In the 2004 European Parliament election Higgins was elected to the European Parliament as a Fine Gael / European People's Party MEP for the North-West constituency. He was re-elected at the 2009 European Parliament election.

At the European Parliament, he serves as a member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism. He is a substitute member of the Petitions Committee. He is also a substituent member of the Fisheries Committee. Higgins' other duties include membership of the EU-Chile Joint Parliamentary Committee, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly and he is a substitute member of the Delegation for Relations with Japan.

He is one of five MEPs to hold the position of Quaestor. He was elected by other parliamentarians in the European Parliament to this position. He lost his seat at the 2014 European Parliament election.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mr. Jim Higgins". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 
  2. ^ "Jim Higgins". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 

External links[edit]

Oireachtas
Preceded by
Paddy O'Toole
(Fine Gael)
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Mayo East
1987–1997
Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
New constituency Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Mayo
1997–2002
Succeeded by
Jerry Cowley
(Independent)
Political offices
Preceded by
Phil Hogan
Minister of State at the Department of Finance
Feb–May 1995
Succeeded by
Hugh Coveney
Preceded by
Seán Barrett
Government Chief Whip
1995–1997
Succeeded by
Séamus Brennan
Minister of State at the Department of Defence
1995–1997
European Parliament
Preceded by
Joe McCartin
Member of the European Parliament for North-West
2004–2014
Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
Party political offices
Preceded by
Michael Lowry
Chairman of the Fine Gael parliamentary party
1994–1995
Succeeded by
Phil Hogan