|Member of the European Parliament|
13 June 1959 |
Drogheda, County Louth,
|Political party||Fine Gael|
|Alma mater||University College Dublin|
Mairead McGuinness (born 13 June 1959) is an Irish politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the East constituency. She is a member of Fine Gael, part of the European People's Party.
 Education and media career
McGuinness was the first female graduate of University College Dublin's Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural economics in 1980. In 1984, she completed a diploma in accounting and finance and went on to a career in a number of media outlets before entering politics in 2004. She worked as a researcher on The Late Late Show, as a presenter on RTÉ's Ear to the Ground and Celebrity Farm, a journalist with the Irish Farmers Journal and editor of the Irish Independent's farming supplement.
 Political career
In early 2004, she declared her intention to seek a nomination for the European Parliament election for Fine Gael. This followed speculation linking her to a similar move for the Progressive Democrats. At the selection convention in February 2004, she was selected to run alongside Avril Doyle. This proved controversial, as it was widely expected that Fine Gael could win only one of the three seats in the East constituency. However, a stronger than expected performance from Fine Gael in the election saw both women being elected.
McGuinness has been appointed to serve on several European Parliament committees, including the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and the delegation for relations with Australia and New Zealand. McGuinness is a substitute member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on Petitions and the delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China.
She was a Fine Gael candidate for the Louth constituency at the 2007 general election but was not elected. She was re-elected on the first count at the 2009 European election, topping the poll with 25.7% of the first preference votes.
In April 2011, she announced that she wished to run for President of Ireland and would seek the Fine Gael party nomination for the 2011 presidential election. In July 2011, she was defeated for the nomination by Gay Mitchell.
- "Mairead McGuinness". European Parliament. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- "Mairead McGuinness". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
- "Maireád McGuinness in Áras bid". The Irish Times. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- De Bréadún, Deaglán (9 July 2011). "Mitchell chosen as FG candidate". The Irish Times. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
|New constituency||Member of the European Parliament for East