Ciarán Cuffe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ciarán Cuffe

Ciarán Cuffe Annual Green Convention 2018.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
Assumed office
2 July 2019
Minister of State for Horticulture, Sustainable Travel, Planning and Heritage
In office
23 March 2010 – 23 January 2011
TaoiseachBrian Cowen
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Teachta Dála
In office
May 2002 – February 2011
ConstituencyDún Laoghaire
Personal details
Born (1963-04-03) 3 April 1963 (age 57)
Shankill, Dublin, Ireland
Political party Irish:
Green Party
European Green Party
RelationsPatrick Little (granduncle)
George Skakel (grandfather)
Ethel Kennedy (aunt)
EducationGonzaga College
Alma mater

Ciarán Cuffe (born 3 April 1963) is an Irish politician who has been a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Ireland for the Dublin constituency since July 2019. He is a member of the Green Party, part of the European Green Party. He previously served as Minister of State for Horticulture, Sustainable Travel, Planning and Heritage from 2010 to 2011. He was a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dún Laoghaire constituency from 2002 to 2011.[1]

Background and personal life[edit]

He was born in Shankill, Dublin, the son of Luan Peter Cuffe[2] and Patricia Sistine Skakel. Luan Cuffe was an architect who was involved in town planning for Dún Laoghaire and Wicklow before taking over his brother-in-law's architectural practice. Luan Cuffe trained in Harvard University under Walter Gropius where he met Patricia Skakel whom he married. George Skakel, a founder of Great Lakes Carbon Corporation, was his maternal grandfather. Skakel's daughter Patricia Sistine Skakel (1925–2000), Cuffe's mother, was a sister of Ethel Skakel. His cousins include the children of Ethel Skakel and Robert F. Kennedy.[3] Cuffe's granduncle was the Fianna Fáil TD Patrick Little, and his great granduncle Philip Francis Little was the first Prime Minister of Newfoundland in 1854.[4] Cuffe is a member of the Dublin Cycling Campaign and has cycled coast-to-coast across the United States.[5]


He 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. Cuffe has degrees in architecture and urban planning from University College Dublin.[6] He teaches a masters programme in urban regeneration & development at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Bolton Street.[7] In 2019 he completed an MSc in cities at the London School of Economics.[8]

Political career[edit]

Early political activism[edit]

Cuffe joined the Green Party in 1982, and campaigned with Students Against the Destruction of Dublin in the 1980s. He was twice elected to Dublin City Council, in 1991 and 1999, for the South Inner City electoral area.[9] In 1996, he launched a free bikes scheme in which bicycles were placed around Dublin city centre for use by the public.[10]

Dáil Éireann[edit]

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.[11] He was re-elected at the 2007 general election.[9][12]

Following the 2007 election, the Green Party formed a coalition government with two other political parties and a number of independent TDs. Just after the election, on 28 May 2007, he wrote in 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."[13]

He lost his seat at the 2011 general election.

Minister of State[edit]

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.[14]

While Cuffe was Minister, the Oireachtas enacted the Planning & Development (Amendment) Act 2010 to address land-use planning failures and over-zoning of development land.[15] 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 published the Climate Change Response Bill 2010, and an update of the National Spatial Strategy.[16][17] He was head of the Irish delegation at the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancún, Mexico.[18]

He promoted healthy eating for children, school gardens and local markets. He published bills to address climate change, noise pollution, and heritage protection. In January 2011, Cuffe launched a new policy of allowing bicycles on off-peak DART trains.[19]

He resigned as Minister of State on 23 January 2011, when the Green Party withdrew from government.[20]

2014 local elections[edit]

At the 2014 local elections he was elected to Dublin City Council for Dublin North Inner City area, on the 13th count.[21] He has been Chairperson for the Dublin City Council Transportation Committee since 2014.[22] As a member of the Central Area Committee for Dublin City Council, he worked to provide a site for the Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire primary school on Dominick Street in 2017.[23] Cuffe introduced 30 km/hr speed limits to residential and school areas of Dublin.[24] He also advocates for a car-free College Green.[25] He called for an increase in affordable housing in Dublin, specifically for people with different incomes.[26] Speaking on the Strategic Development Zone in the Docklands, he stated, "We have seen a lot of cranes in the Docklands but not a lot of homes. Particularly affordable homes.”[27]

2019 European elections[edit]

Cuffe was selected as the Green Party candidate for the Dublin constituency at the 2019 European Parliament elections. He was elected as an MEP on the 13th count, with 17.54% first preference votes.[28] He was also re-elected to Dublin City Council, but due to the prohibition on a dual mandate, this seat was co-opted to fellow Green Party member Janet Horner. [29]


  1. ^ "Ciarán Cuffe". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 20 January 2009.
  2. ^ "Cuffe, Luan Peter". Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720–1940. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Oh Dear, Prudence". Cuffe Street. 13 May 2007.
  4. ^ "Dail family trees show clans who rule Ireland". Irish Independent. 27 December 2009.
  5. ^ "5 things you may not know about Ciaran Cuffe |". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  6. ^ "About Me - Ciaran Cuffe". Ciaran Cuffe. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  7. ^ "All Courses - Study at DIT". Archived from the original on 24 July 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Network » Executive MSc in Cities » A transformational programme for working professionals at the London School of Economics". Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Ciarán Cuffe". Retrieved 20 January 2009.
  10. ^ "Greens hope for a new cycle in city transport". The Irish Times. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Cuffe quits as Environment spokesman". RTÉ News. 10 June 2003. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  12. ^ "General Election 2007 – Dún Laoghaire". RTÉ News: General Election 2007. 25 May 2007. Archived from the original on 18 August 2007.
  13. ^ "Great to be back". Cuffe Street. 28 May 2007.
  14. ^ "Killeen, Carey promoted to cabinet". RTÉ News. 23 March 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  15. ^ "Planning Acts - Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government". 26 July 2010. Archived from the original on 14 September 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Greens want to enact climate Bill before election". The Irish Times. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Cullen, Paul (5 January 2011). "Bicycles to be permitted on Dart and commuter trains in off-peak hours". The Irish Times.
  20. ^ "Green Party withdraws from government". RTÉ News. 23 January 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  21. ^ "The Irish Times, Local Election Results for Dublin City Council". The Irish Times.
  22. ^ "Transportation SPC | Dublin City Council". Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Expansion of 30km/hr Slow Zones in Dublin's Residential and School Areas | Dublin City Council". Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  25. ^ Kilraine, John (12 March 2018). "College Green plaza hearing adjourned until tomorrow". Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  26. ^ Cuffe, Ciarán. "Instead of segregated policies, we need inclusive housing for people on different incomes". Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  27. ^ "Councillors Call for Review of Plans for Housing in Docklands". Dublin Inquirer. 17 July 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  28. ^ "Green Party's Ciarán Cuffe elected MEP". Journal. 27 May 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  29. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Monica Barnes
Sean Barrett
David Andrews
Teachta Dála for Dún Laoghaire
With: Barry Andrews
Sean Barrett
Eamon Gilmore
Mary Hanafin
Fiona O'Malley
Succeeded by
Maria Bailey
Sean Barrett
Mary Mitchell O'Connor
Richard Boyd Barrett
European Parliament
Preceded by
Lynn Boylan
Nessa Childers
Brian Hayes
MEP for Dublin
With: Barry Andrews
Clare Daly
Frances Fitzgerald
Political offices
New office Minister of State
for Horticulture, Sustainable Travel
and Planning and Heritage

Succeeded by
Office abolished