Ciarán Cannon

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Ciarán Cannon
Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development
Assumed office
20 June 2017
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Preceded by New office
Minister of State for Training and Skills
In office
10 March 2011 – 15 July 2014
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Office abolished
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2011
Constituency Galway East
In office
10 August 2007 – 26 February 2011
Constituency Nominated by the Taoiseach
Personal details
Born (1965-09-19) 19 September 1965 (age 52)
Galway, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Fine Gael
Spouse(s) Niamh Lawless (m. 1996)
Children 1
Alma mater Trinity College Dublin

Ciarán Cannon (born 19 September 1965) is an Irish Fine Gael politician who has served as Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development since June 2017. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Galway East constituency, upon being elected at the 2011 general election. He previously served as Minister of State for Training and Skills from 2011 to 2014. He was a Senator from 2007 to 2011, upon being Nominated by the Taoiseach.[1][2]

Before entering politics, he was CEO (2002–06) and secretary (2000–02) of IHCPT – The Irish Pilgrimage Trust. In 2002, he was honoured as one of the Galway People of the Year.

As a member of the Progressive Democrats, Cannon was elected to Galway County Council in 2004 to represent the Loughrea electoral area, with 1,307 first preferences. He was a unsuccessful candidate at the 2007 general election in Galway East.[3]

He was nominated by then-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to the 23rd Seanad in 2007.

Cannon was elected as Leader of the Progressive Democrats in April 2008.[4] He was the first leader of the party to have sat as a Senator while serving as leader. At his first press conference as party leader, he stated that he believed "there was passion, commitment, talent and knowledge within the PDs' ranks to stage a big comeback".[citation needed]

However, after speculation increased that Noel Grealish, one of the two Progressive Democrat TDs, intended to leave the party, Cannon announced in September 2008 that a party conference would be held on 8 November 2008, at which he would recommend that the party disband.[5] The delegates present at the conference voted by 201–161 to agree with this recommendation.[6]

Cannon announced on 24 March 2009 his decision to resign the leadership of the PDs; on the same day he joined Fine Gael.[7]

On 10 March 2011, on his first day as a member of Dáil Éireann, he was appointed as Minister of State for Training and Skills. He was dropped from the government in a reshuffle in July 2014.[8]

He is also an accomplished musician and songwriter, and recently collaborated with Irish folk singer Sean Keane and others on songwriting projects. One of Cannon's compositions, "Nature's Little Symphony", was performed in Dublin by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra as part of the national Cruinniú celebrations on Easter Monday 2017.[9]

He was appointed as Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development in June 2017.


  1. ^ "Ciarán Cannon appointed Minister of State". Archived from the original on 11 March 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Mr. Ciarán Cannon". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  3. ^ "Ciarán Cannon". Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  4. ^ "Cannon elected leader of the Progressive Democrats". The Irish Times. 17 April 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2008. 
  5. ^ "PD Conference to decide party's future". RTÉ News. 16 September 2008. 
  6. ^ "PDs vote to wind up political party". RTÉ News. 8 November 2008. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 8 November 2008. 
  7. ^ "Cannon formally joins Fine Gael". RTÉ News. 24 March 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2009. 
  8. ^ "Simon Harris among new Ministers of State". RTÉ News. 15 July 2014. 
  9. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ulick Burke
(Fine Gael)
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Galway East
Political offices
New office Minister of State for Training and Skills
Succeeded by
Damien English
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mary Harney
Leader of the Progressive Democrats
Succeeded by
Noel Grealish