Dessie Ellis

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Dessie Ellis

Cllr Ellis Mansion House, Dublin.JPG
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2011
ConstituencyDublin North-West
Personal details
Desmond Ellis

(1953-09-23) 23 September 1953 (age 65)
Ballymun, Dublin, Ireland
Political partySinn Féin
Alma materDublin Institute of Technology

Dessie Ellis (born 23 September 1953) is an Irish Sinn Féin politician who has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin North-West constituency since the 2011 general election.[1] He was a member of Dublin City Council from 1999 to 2011.

Early life[edit]

Ellis was born in north Dublin in 1953. He later worked as a television repairman.[2]

Extradition and prison term[edit]

He is a former Provisional IRA prisoner. He was arrested in 1981, when explosives and bomb making equipment were found under his bed. He was charged with possession of explosives.[2] He jumped bail, but was arrested in Buffalo, New York in February 1982 and extradited to the Republic of Ireland,[2] where in April 1983, he was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment in Portlaoise Prison. In 1983, Ellis' fingerprints were found on a huge cache of IRA explosives found in a forest outside the Berkshire town of Pangbourne. The cache was linked to the Harrods and Hyde Park bombings. On 14 November 1990, after thirty-five days on hunger-strike, Ellis became the first person extradited from the Republic of Ireland to the United Kingdom under the 1987 Extradition Act. He went on hunger strike to protest efforts to send him to Britain, but was extradited in the sixth week of his fast. Ellis had been convicted of possessing multiple power-timer units for IRA bombs, including those suspected of being used in the Hyde Park and Regent's Park bombings.[3]

Political career[edit]

Ellis was first elected to Dublin City Council in 1999, for the Finglas area.[4] He unsuccessfully contested the 2002 general election in the Dublin North-West constituency, and received 4,781 first preference votes (18.3%). He was again unsuccessful at the 2007 general election in the same constituency, receiving 4,873 votes (15.7%).

At the 2011 general election, he was elected to the 31st Dáil with 7,115 (21.7%) of the first-preference votes. At the 2016 general election he was again elected with 7,571 (20.5%) of the first preference votes.

In 2016, a bill was put forward, which if passed would have criminalised hare coursing. Sinn Féin supports the legalisation of hare coursing and decided to apply the party whip. As Ellis opposes it he declined to vote. He defied party instructions by not informing party whip Aengus O'Snodaigh that he would not be taking part in the vote so he could be excused. He was subsequently given a written warning.[5][6]

Personal life[edit]

Ellis is proficient in karate, holding a black belt, and teaches martial arts to young people.[7]


  1. ^ "Dessie Ellis". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "IRA Hunger Striker Tests Extradition Act". Los Angeles Times. 14 November 1990.
  3. ^ IRA man charged with 1982 Hyde Park bombing
  4. ^ "Dessie Ellis". Retrieved 17 April 2011.
  5. ^ Two Sinn Féin TDs face suspension over hare coursing Bill
  6. ^ SF TDs issued with 'written warnings'
  7. ^ INTERVIEW: Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Dessie Ellis

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Noel Ahern
(Fianna Fáil)
Sinn Féin Teachta Dála for Dublin North-West