Jimmy Harte

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Jimmy Harte
Assumed office
April 2011
Constituency Industrial and Commercial Panel
Donegal County Councillor
In office
June 1999 – April 2011
Constituency Letterkenny
Personal details
Born (1958-02-27) 27 February 1958 (age 56)
Lifford, County Donegal
Nationality Irish
Political party Labour Party
Other political
Fine Gael (1999–2006)
Spouse(s) Mary Galligan
Children 4
Alma mater University College Dublin
Website jimmyharte.wordpress.com

Jimmy Harte (born 27 February 1958) is an Irish Labour Party politician and member of Seanad Éireann since April 2011.[1]

Early and personal life[edit]

He was educated at Saint Eunan's College, Letterkenny,[2] and obtained a B.A. in Psychology from University College Dublin. He runs his own insurance broker business, Harte Insurances, which he set up at the age of 24.

Local politics[edit]

The son of former Fine Gael TD Paddy Harte, he was elected as a Fine Gael candidate to Letterkenny town council in 1994 and subsequently to Donegal County Council in 1999. In 2006 he resigned from Fine Gael after failing to secure a nomination from the party to contest the Donegal North–East constituency for the 2007 general election. He subsequently stood as an independent candidate at that election but was not elected.[3]

National politics[edit]

Harte joined the Labour Party in 2010 and was that party's candidate for the 2011 general election for Donegal North East, where he was unsuccessful in winning a seat.[3] Harte was subsequently elected to Seanad Éireann on the Industrial and Commercial Panel in April 2011.

In February 2012 he offered to pay for the flight of a Polish worker living in Donegal to return "home" to stop her receiving unemployment benefit and FAS training. It later transpired the article was mistranslated from Polish.[citation needed] After it became apparent the article Harte was talking about was mistranslated many people took to Twitter to question him about his opinion. In response Harte began to insult various users. He also accused some users of being xenophobic against Donegal while at the same time accusing other users of being "D4 types" in a derogatory manner. He later removed his comments, though accepted full responsibility for them.[4][5][6]

He is the Labour Party Seanad spokesperson on Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation.

2013 hospitalisation[edit]

Harte was found unconscious in Newmarket Square, Dublin in the early hours of 16 November 2013.[7] He was taken to Beaumont Hospital and put in an induced coma, and underwent surgery for a fractured skull and brain trauma.[7] The Garda Síochána investigating the incident suggested the most likely cause was an accidental fall.[7]


  1. ^ "Mr. Jimmy Harte". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Collins, Stephen (2011). Nealon's Guide to the 31st Dáil and 24th Seanad. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. p. 203. ISBN 9780717150595. 
  3. ^ a b "Jimmy Harte". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "Senator Harte says sorry for Twitter outburst in wake of Magda story". Highland Radio. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "Labour Senator apologises for Twitter comments". Irish Examiner. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "Labour Senator apologises over Twitter insults following ‘Magda’ controversy". The Journal.ie. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c "Labour senator Jimmy Harte in critical condition in hospital". Irish Independent. 16 November 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 

External links[edit]