Bairbre de Brún

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Bairbre de Brún
Bairbre de Brún 2008-10-19 Strasbourg.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
for Northern Ireland
In office
13 June 2004 – 3 May 2012
Preceded by John Hume
Succeeded by Martina Anderson
Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety
In office
Preceded by Office Created
Succeeded by Michael McGimpsey
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for West Belfast
In office
25 June 1998 – 13 June 2004
Preceded by Office Created
Succeeded by Sue Ramsey
Personal details
Born (1954-01-10) 10 January 1954 (age 61)
Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Political party Sinn Féin / European United Left - Nordic Green Left
Profession Politician

Bairbre de Brún (born 10 January 1954) is an Irish politician and former Member of the European Parliament, representing Northern Ireland.[1]

Political work[edit]

Born in Terenure, Dublin on 10 January 1954,[1] de Brún began her political career as a member of the National Committee Against the H-Blocks & Armagh Gaol in the late 1970s and early 1980s, focusing heavily on the treatment of women in Armagh Gaol.[2] Bairbre de Brún became an early member of Sinn Féin's Ard Chomhairle (English: High Council) and in 1998 became an MLA in the regional government, representing West Belfast. She was Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

By profession, de Brún was a teacher and taught in the Irish-medium education sector in west Belfast.[2] She was also a French and German teacher and is noted for her devotion to the Irish language.[citation needed] She has lived in the Andersonstown area of Belfast since the early 1980s. She is a fluent Irish speaker and an expert in human rights and equality issues. De Brún is also a member of the Sinn Féin negotiating team and traveled internationally on numerous occasions to promote the Irish peace process.[3]

She was a member of the Environment and Petitions Committee in the European Parliament and a substitute member of the Regional Development Committee. Following the 2004 Euro elections she was one of two Sinn Féin MEPs and the first Sinn Féin politician to represent Northern Ireland in the European Parliament. She sat with the European United Left - Nordic Green Left.[3] She topped the poll in the Northern Ireland constituency of the European Parliament in the 2009 European elections, a first for a nationalist or republican party.

She has also been a strong supporter of the Irish language and its use globally, and was one of the only MEPs to currently use Irish as her priority language, rarely making speeches within the parliament in English.[citation needed]

Bairbre was a member of the Regional Policy Committee in the European Parliament and a substitute member of the Environment Committee. Within the EU parliament she focused on environmental issues.[4] She was part of an EU delegation that attended the 2011 Durban Climate Change Conference.[5] She was critical of the final report of the conference saying "We need to recognise that even the best possible outcome from Durban still only takes us half way down the road we need to travel".[6]

She resigned from the European Parliament in May 2012 for "personal reasons" although it was reported that she intended on remaining active within the party.[7] She was succeeded by Martina Anderson, an MLA for Foyle.[8]


  1. ^ a b Bairbre de Brún EU Parliament website
  2. ^ a b sinnfein. "Bairbre de Brún MEP - Six County". Retrieved 8 March 2010.  Archived 4 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b European Parliament. "Your MEP's Bairbre de Brún". European Parliament. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Agenda NI. "Bairbre de Brún – greening the recovery". Agenda NI. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Summary Note: Delegation to the 17th Session of the Conference on Climate Change.
  6. ^ Conference backs 'fragile' deal on climate change. Irish Times, 12 December 2011.
  7. ^ BBC (3 May 2012). "Sinn Fein's Bairbre de Brun stepping down as MEP". BBC News. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  8. ^ BBC. "Sinn Fein reshuffle as Martina Anderson takes on MEP role". BBC News. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 

External links[edit]

Northern Ireland Assembly
New title MLA for Belfast West
1998 - 2004
Succeeded by
Sue Ramsey
European Parliament
Preceded by
John Hume
MEP for Northern Ireland
2004 - 2012
Succeeded by
Martina Anderson
Political offices
Preceded by
New office
Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
1999 - 2000
Succeeded by
Office suspended
Preceded by
Office suspended
Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
2000 - 2002
Succeeded by
Office suspended