Ciarán Cannon

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Ciarán Cannon
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
August 2007 – February 2011
Constituency Nominated by the Taoiseach
Personal details
Born (1965-09-19) 19 September 1965 (age 51)
Galway, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Fine Gael
Spouse(s) Niamh Cannon
Children 1
Alma mater Trinity College Dublin

Ciarán Cannon (born 19 September 1965) is an Irish politician and a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) for the Galway East constituency since the 2011 general election. He previously served as Minister of State for Training and Skills from March 2011 to July 2014.[1] He is a former leader of the Progressive Democrats (PD) party.[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.

He was elected to Galway County Council in 2004 to represent the Loughrea electoral area with 1,307 first preferences. He was an unsuccessful PD candidate at the 2007 general election for the Galway East constituency.[3] He received 3,321 first preferences in the 2007 poll.

He was nominated by the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern to the Seanad as a Progressive Democrats member in 2007.

Cannon was elected as Leader of the Progressive Democrats on 17 April 2008.[4] Cannon was the first leader of the Progressive Democrats to come from Seanad Éireann. At his first press conference as party leader Cannon 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 party's two TDs, intended to leave the party, he 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] At that conference, the delegates present voted by 201–161 that the party should disband.[6]

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

On 10 March 2011, he was appointed as Minister of State for Training and Skills. He was dropped as a Minister of State in a reshuffle in July 2014.[8]


  1. ^ "Ciarán Cannon appointed Minister of State". 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. 

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