Sean McEniff

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sean McEniff
Assumed office
June 1991
Constituency Donegal Electoral Area
Personal details
Born 1935 or 1936
Political party Fianna Fáil
Residence Bundoran
Profession Hotelier

Sean McEniff (born 1935 or 1936)[1] is an Irish businessman and Fianna Fáil politician from County Donegal. He is a member of Donegal County Council, representing the Donegal Electoral Area.[2][3]

He stood in the 1979 European Parliament election in the Connacht–Ulster, though was not elected. He was first elected to Donegal County Council in 1991, and has been returned every time since.[4] He was Director of Bord Fáilte between 1993 and 1998. He was also named Donegal Person of the Year in 1996.[5]

McEniff caused a mainstream media outcry by claiming Travellers should be segregated from non-Travellers.[6][7] He made these comments while discussing the proposed housing of a Traveller family in Ballyshannon; that house was subsequently burned to the ground.[8] McEniff stood by his views and rejected accusations of ' racism '.[9] However, ' anti-fascist ' agitants claimed that this had ' done damage to Donegal's reputation ' while many others questioned the logic of claiming an entire county responsible for the comments of one man.[10] McEniff was formally complained against to Gardaí.[11][12]

Sinn Féin TD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said it was like what had happened in Alabama at the height of the Civil Rights protests. McEniff's Fianna Fáil colleague Dara Calleary refused to condemn the remarks on Tonight with Vincent Browne.[13] Fianna Fáil distanced itself from McEniff's remarks and claimed he was only "expressing a personal opinion".[5] Fine Gael's Eugene Dolan supported McEniff and said: "As far as I am concerned they can be sent to Spike Island for all I care."[14]

The Dublin branch of McEniff's hotel chain was picketed by protesters.[15][16][17][18] Such is the prominence of the chain that it has been compared to Donald Trump in the United States.[19]


  1. ^ Daly, Michael (24 May 2014). "The Donegal Electoral Area Independents to the fore". Donegal Democrat. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Donegal Electoral Area". Donegal County Council. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Sean McEniff". Fianna Fáil. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Sean McEniff". Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "FF councillor criticised for anti-Traveller comments: “You wouldn't want them beside you and I don't want them beside me,” Fianna Fáil councillor Sean McEniff told a local radio station in Donegal". 17 February 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Audio: Donegal councillor Sean McEniff says Travellers should be an 'isolated community'". 17 January 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Quann, Jack (17 January 2013). "Donegal councillor says travellers should live in isolation". Newstalk. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Controversial Ballyshannon house burned down". Donegal News. February 2013. Retrieved February 2013. 
  9. ^ McMahon, Aine (18 January 2013). "Travellers 'wreck homes', says councillor". The Irish Times. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Dublin Councillor says protest at Sean McEniff Hotel will send a message". Highland Radio. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "Protest held outside McEniff hotel in Dublin". Donegal News. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  12. ^ "Fianna Fáil: No action against Councillor McEniff over travellers comments". Highland Radio. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "Traveller House Burning Latest: Call for Cllr Sean McEniff to be dismissed from Fianna Fáil made on TV show". Donegal Democrat. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "Fine Gael Councillor backs Sean McEniff comments on Travellers". Highland Radio. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  15. ^ "Picket against Fianna Fáil Councillor Sean McEniff". 15 February 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  16. ^ "Group to protest outside Cllr McEniff's Hotel". Donegal Now. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  17. ^ "Protest against racist comments by Donegal Councillor Sean McEniff". 16 February 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "Picket of Cllr. Sean McEniff's Hotel (Dublin)". 14 February 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "McEniff out to Trump Donald". Irish Independent. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013.