Avril Doyle

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Avril Doyle
Member of the European Parliament
In office
June 2004 – June 2009
In office
June 1999 – June 2004
Teachta Dála
In office
November 1982 – June 1989
In office
November 1992 – June 1997
In office
October 1989 – December 1992
In office
September 1997 – June 2002
ConstituencyAgricultural Panel
Personal details
Avril Belton

(1949-04-18) 18 April 1949 (age 70)
Dublin, Ireland
Political partyFine Gael
Alma materUniversity College Dublin

Avril Doyle (née Belton; born 18 April 1949) is an Irish former Fine Gael politician.[1]

Early life[edit]

Avril Belton was born in Dublin; she was educated at Holy Child Killiney Secondary School, County Dublin. She went on to study at University College, Dublin (UCD). Her father Richard Belton was a Senator and her grandfather Patrick Belton was a Teachta Dála (TD).

Political career[edit]

In 1974, aged 25, she was elected to Wexford County Council and to Wexford Corporation; she was Mayor of Wexford town from 1975 to 1976.[2] She was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the November 1982 general election as a Fine Gael TD for the Wexford constituency. She lost her seat at the 1989 general election but was re-elected at the 1992 general election, again losing her seat at the 1997 general election to party colleague Michael D'Arcy. She was a member of the Seanad from 1989 to 1992 and from 1997 to 2002. She was elected as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) at the 1999 election and re-elected at the 2004 election.[3] She served as a Minister of State in the Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition governments of 1982–87 and 1994–97.

Doyle made news during a debate in the European Parliament in June 2008 after the rejection of the Treaty of Lisbon by Irish voters. A group of British Eurosceptic MEPs wore green hats and T-shirts, encouraging the EU to respect the Irish 'no' vote. However, many Irish MEPs saw this as self-serving and felt that there would be no Eurosceptic support for Irish opinion had the treaty been accepted; and Doyle was both lauded and criticised for the following comment, which is a reference to the forceful occupation of Ireland by Britain; "How the history books could have been written differently, if respect for the Irish vote from some of our British colleagues was always there."[4]

She announced on 7 January 2009 that she would not be seeking re-election to the European Parliament at the 2009 election.[5]

On 21 June 2011 she announced her intention to seek the Fine Gael party nomination to run for President of Ireland.[6] She withdrew from the nomination process in October 2011.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mrs. Avril Doyle". Oireachtas Members Database. Archived from the original on 11 April 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  2. ^ Kenny, Shane and Keane, Fergal, Irish Politics Now: 'This Week' Guide to the 25th Dáil, Dingle, Co. Kerry: Brandon/RTÉ, 1987, page 221
  3. ^ "Avril Doyle". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  4. ^ Avril Doyle's comments in European Parliament[permanent dead link]. RTÉ News. June 2008.
  5. ^ "Avril Doyle declines to contest European election". The Irish Times. 7 January 2007.
  6. ^ "Higgins wins Labour presidential nomination". RTÉ News. 19 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Doyle withdraws from FG Presidential race". RTÉ News. 19 October 2011.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Bermingham
Minister of State at the Department of Finance
Succeeded by
Noel Treacy