Alan Kelly (politician)

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Alan Kelly
Alan Kelly 2011.jpg
Deputy leader of the Labour Party
In office
4 July 2014 – 20 May 2016
Leader Joan Burton
Preceded by Joan Burton
Succeeded by Office not in use
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government
In office
11 July 2014 – 6 May 2016
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Preceded by Phil Hogan
Succeeded by Office abolished
Minister of State for Public and Commuter Transport
In office
10 March 2011 – 11 July 2014
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Office abolished
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2016
Constituency Tipperary
Teachta Dála
In office
February 2011 – February 2016
Constituency Tipperary North
Member of the European Parliament
In office
June 2009 – March 2011
Constituency South
In office
24 July 2007 – 8 June 2009
Constituency Agricultural Panel
Personal details
Born Alan Thomas Kelly[1]
(1975-07-13) 13 July 1975 (age 41)
Portroe, Tipperary, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Labour Party
Spouse(s) Regina O'Connor
Children 2
Alma mater University College Cork
University College Dublin
Website Official website

Alan Thomas Kelly (born 13 July 1975) is an Irish Labour Party politician. He is a Teachta Dála (TD) for Tipperary, having been first elected to the Dáil for Tipperary North at the 2011 general election.[2] Before this he had been a Senator and a Member of the European Parliament (MEP). He was Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government between 2014 and 2016.

Early and private life[edit]

Kelly is from Portroe just outside Nenagh, County Tipperary, and is the son of Tom and Nan Kelly. Educated at Nenagh CBS, he subsequently attended University College Cork (UCC) where he completed a BA in English and History in 1995. Two years later he completed a M.Phil in Political History. Kelly continued his education at Boston College where he achieved a Certificate in Leadership in 1999. He returned to Ireland shortly after this and completed a MBS in eCommerce in 2002. Kelly subsequently worked as an eBusiness Manager with Bord Fáilte and Fáilte Ireland.

Kelly is married to Regina O'Connor, a primary school teacher who was raised in Waterville, County Kerry. The couple have two children; a daughter and a son.

Youth politics[edit]

Kelly is thought to have been politicised from an early age. In his final year of secondary school he canvassed for the Labour Party during the 1992 general election. He remained active in left-wing politics in university, firstly by establishing the Jim Kemmy Branch of the Labour Party in UCC and later by becoming involved in a number of by-election and local election campaigns in Cork and the wider Munster area.

Kelly became Chair of Labour Youth in 2000, having previously served as Co-Chair.

Seanad Éireann: 2007–2009[edit]

In 2007, Kelly launched his own political career when he secured election to Seanad Éireann for the Agricultural Panel. He was the only Labour Party candidate in that grouping.[3] After the election of Eamon Gilmore as leader of the Labour Party in 2007, Kelly was appointed as Labour Party spokesperson on Tourism and was Seanad spokesperson on Finance and Local Government.

European Parliament: 2009–2011[edit]

Kelly was elected as a MEP for the South constituency at the 2009 European Parliament election, taking the last seat in a tight battle between him, Sinn Féin's Toireasa Ferris and the Independent Kathy Sinnott.[4][5] Kelly was a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

Dáil Éireann: 2011–present[edit]

Though he promised he would see out his five-year term in the European Parliament, Kelly allowed his name go forward as a Labour Party candidate at the 2011 general election. He ran in the Tipperary North constituency and was successful, receiving 9,559 first preference votes (19.8%) and securing the third and final seat at the expense of Fianna Fáil's sitting TD, Máire Hoctor. Phil Prendergast replaced him as MEP for the South constituency.

When the new coalition government was formed Kelly joined the junior ministerial ranks as Minister of State for Public and Commuter Transport.[6]

In May 2014, Kelly confirmed that he would be contesting the vote for a new deputy leader of the Labour party following the resignation of Eamon Gilmore as party leader.[7]

He was elected as Deputy leader of the Labour Party on 4 July 2014.[8] On July 11, he was appointed to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.[9]

In January 2015, it was announced that his boss Joan Burton had nominated Kelly for the roles of Labour's director of elections and chair of Labour's national campaign committee ahead of the upcoming general election.[10]

Following the election, Kelly remained Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government in an acting capacity during prolonged talks on government formation. On Sunday 24 April 2016, he represented the Government at the official U.S. commemoration of the Centenary of the Easter Rising in Manhattan, New York.

Shortly afterwards, on Friday 13 May 2016, Kelly announced his intention to seek leadership of the Labour Party.[11] He then failed to attract a nomination from his parliamentary colleagues, resulting in the unopposed appointment of Brendan Howlin as the new leader.[12] Grassroots efforts to put pressure on members of the parliamentary party were unsuccessful.


  1. ^ Downing, John (21 May 2016). "New Labour leader Howlin has thunder stolen by rival Kelly: Alan Kelly's 'petulant' absence from press conference raises eyebrows, writes John Downing". Irish Independent. At lunchtime yesterday, this strange process meant that Brendan Howlin was the last man standing. His colleagues - bar one Alan Thomas Kelly - accompanied him to meet the awaiting political journalists. 
  2. ^ "Mr. Alan Kelly". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 18 February 2008. 
  3. ^ "Alan Kelly". Retrieved 2 April 2009. 
  4. ^ Riegel, Ralph (9 June 2009). "Labour's Kelly fights off late Sinnott surge". Irish Independent. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Alan Kelly". European Parliament. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Kenny breaks election pledge by not cutting junior ministers". Irish Examiner. 11 March 2011. 
  7. ^ O'Connor, Niall (29 May 2014). "Three Labour TDs have said they are interested in being the deputy leader of the party". Irish Independent. 
  8. ^ "Need to govern with more heart, says Joan Burton". RTÉ News. 4 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "Live: Cabinet reshuffle". RTÉ News. 11 July 2014. 
  10. ^ Kelly, Fiach (14 January 2015). "Joan Burton appoints Alan Kelly as election chief: Labour deputy leader will chair national campaign committee for next general election". The Irish Times. 
  11. ^ Alan Kelly to run for Labour Party leadership
  12. ^ Sarah bardon (2016-05-21). "Brendan Howlin chosen to be new Labour leader". Irish Times. Retrieved 2016-05-21. 

External links[edit]

European Parliament
Preceded by
Kathy Sinnott
Member of the European Parliament
for South

Succeeded by
Phil Prendergast
Labour Party
Preceded by
Máire Hoctor
Fianna Fáil
Labour Party Teachta Dála
for Tipperary North

Political offices
New office Minister of State for Public and Commuter Transport
Succeeded by
Office abolished
Preceded by
Phil Hogan
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government
Succeeded by
Office abolished
Party political offices
Preceded by
Joan Burton
Deputy leader of Labour Party