Ciarán Cuffe

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Ciarán Cuffe
Ciaran Cuffe.jpg
Minister of State for Horticulture, Sustainable Travel, Planning and Heritage
In office
23 March 2010 – 23 January 2011
Taoiseach Brian Cowen
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by Office abolished
Dublin City Councillor
Assumed office
14 May 2014
Constituency North Inner City
Teachta Dála
In office
May 2002 – February 2011
Constituency Dún Laoghaire
Personal details
Born (1963-04-03) 3 April 1963 (age 54)
Shankill, Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Green Party
Education Gonzaga College
Alma mater

Ciarán Cuffe (born 3 April 1963) is an Irish Green Party politician who served as Minister of State for Horticulture, Sustainable Travel, Planning and Heritage from 2010 to 2011. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dún Laoghaire constituency from 2002 to 2011. He currently sits as a Dublin City Councillor for the North Inner City.[1]


He was born in Shankill, Dublin. George Skakel, a founder of Great Lakes Carbon Corporation, is his maternal grandfather through Patricia Sistine Skakel (1925-2000). His mother was Ethel Skakel Kennedy's sister. His cousins include the children of Skakel and Robert F. Kennedy.[2] His granduncle was the Fianna Fáil TD Patrick Little.[3]


Cuffe attended the Children's House Montessori School in Stillorgan, Gonzaga College in Ranelagh, the University of Maine at Orono, University College Dublin, and the University of Venice. He has degrees in architecture and town planning from University College Dublin. He lectures in urban planning at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Bolton Street.

Early political activism[edit]

He joined the Green Party in 1982, and campaigned with Students Against the Destruction of Dublin in the 1980s. Cuffe was twice elected to Dublin City Council in 1991 and 1999 for the South Inner City electoral area.[4]

He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Dublin Central constituency at the 1997 general election, but was elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2002 general election for the Dún Laoghaire constituency.

In June 2003, he stepped down as the Green party's environment spokesperson after it was revealed that he held shares worth $70,000 in a number of oil exploration companies which he had inherited when his late mother had left him $1.3 million in her will.[5] He was re-elected at the 2007 general election.[4][6]

In government[edit]

Following the 2007 Irish general election, the Irish Green Party formed a coalition government with two other political parties and a number of independent TDs.

Just after the general election on 28 May 2007, he wrote on his blog: "A deal with Fianna Fáil would be a deal with the Devil. We would be spat out after 5 years, and decimated as a party".[7]

On 23 March 2010, following a cabinet reshuffle, he was appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Department of Transport and the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government with special responsibility for Horticulture; Sustainable Travel; and Planning and Heritage.[8]

While Cuffe was in office, the Oireachtas enacted the Planning & Development (Amendment) Act 2010 to address land-use planning failures and over-zoning of development land.[9] The legislation reformed the way development plans and local area plans are made and, for the first time in Irish legislation included a definition of 'Anthropogenic Climate Change' and required energy use to be taken into account in planning decisions. He also published an update of the National Spatial Strategy.

He promoted healthy eating for children, school gardens and local markets. He published bills to address climate change and noise pollution, and heritage protection. In January 2011, he launched a new policy to allow bicycles on off-peak DART trains.[10]

He resigned as Minister of State on 23 January 2011 when the Green Party withdrew from government.[11] He lost his seat at the 2011 general election.

At the 2014 local elections he was elected to Dublin City Council on the 13th count for Dublin North Inner City area.[12]


  1. ^ "Mr. Ciarán Cuffe". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 20 January 2009. 
  2. ^ "Oh Dear, Prudence". Cuffe Street. 13 May 2007. 
  3. ^ "Dail family trees show clans who rule Ireland". Irish Independent. 27 December 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Ciarán Cuffe". Retrieved 20 January 2009. 
  5. ^ "Cuffe quits as Environment spokesman". RTÉ News. 10 June 2003. Retrieved 30 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "General Election 2007 – Dún Laoghaire". RTÉ News: General Election 2007. 25 May 2007. Archived from the original on 18 August 2007. 
  7. ^ "Great to be back". Cuffe Street. 28 May 2007. 
  8. ^ "Killeen, Carey promoted to cabinet". RTÉ News. 23 March 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "Planning Acts - Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government". 26 July 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  10. ^ Cullen, Paul (5 January 2011). "Bicycles to be permitted on Dart and commuter trains in off-peak hours". The Irish Times. 
  11. ^ "Green Party withdraws from government". RTÉ News. 23 January 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  12. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Monica Barnes
(Fine Gael)
Green Party Teachta Dála for Dún Laoghaire
Succeeded by
Constituency reduced by one seat
Political offices
New office Minister of State
for Horticulture, Sustainable Travel
and Planning and Heritage

Succeeded by
Office abolished