Emmet Stagg

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Emmet Stagg
Emmet Stagg 2014.jpg
Labour Party Chief Whip
In office
9 May 2007 – 13 March 2016
Leader Pat Rabbitte
Eamon Gilmore
Joan Burton
Preceded by Breeda Moynihan-Cronin
Succeeded by Brendan Ryan
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Energy and Communications
In office
20 December 1994 – 26 June 1997
Taoiseach John Bruton
Preceded by Noel Treacy
Succeeded by Office abolished
Minister of State at the Department of the Environment
In office
14 January 1993 – 15 December 1994
Taoiseach Albert Reynolds
Preceded by Mary Harney
Succeeded by Bernard Allen
Teachta Dála
In office
June 1997 – February 2016
Constituency Kildare North
In office
February 1987 – June 1997
Constituency Kildare
Personal details
Born (1944-10-01) 1 October 1944 (age 73)
Hollymount, County Mayo, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Labour Party
Spouse(s) Mary Morris
Relations Frank Stagg (Brother)
Children 2
Education Ballinrobe CBS
Alma mater Dublin Institute of Technology

Emmet Stagg (born 1 October 1944) is a former Irish Labour Party politician who served as Labour Party Chief Whip from 2007 to 2016, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Energy and Communications from 1994 to 1997 and Minister of State at the Department of the Environment from 1993 to 1994. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1987 to 2016.[1]

Early life[edit]

Stagg was born at Hollymount, County Mayo and educated at Ballinrobe CBS school and Kevin Street College of Technology. He worked as a Medical Technologist at Trinity College, Dublin before entering full-time politics.

Political career[edit]

He was elected in 1979 to represent the Celbridge area on Kildare County Council for the Labour Party, serving until 1993. He was elected again in 1999, serving until 2003. Stagg was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1987 general election for the Kildare constituency.[2] He then served as Labour front bench spokesperson on a number of areas, including Agriculture (1987–89) and Social Welfare (1989–92).

During the 1980s and early 1990s, Stagg was a prominent figure within the internal politics of the Labour Party, being viewed along with Michael D. Higgins and Joe Higgins as one of the leaders of the left-wing faction within the party opposed to coalition with Fine Gael, and as a prominent opponent of the then party leader Dick Spring. He opposed the expulsion of Joe Higgins and Militant Tendency at the 1989 conference, and in the early 1990s he considered leaving the party and joining the newly formed Democratic Left, though he ultimately chose to stay with the party. In the Fianna Fáil–Labour Party coalition government formed after the 1992 general election, he became Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, with special responsibility for Housing and Urban Renewal.

Stagg was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Energy and Communications in 1994, in the newly formed Rainbow Coalition Government.

He lost his seat at the 2016 general election,[2] having served as a TD for 29 consecutive years.[3]

Phoenix Park scandal[edit]

In 1994, while Minister of State, Stagg became the subject of a major press scandal after Gardaí had found him the previous November loitering in an area of Dublin's Phoenix Park used by male prostitutes. He was questioned by the Gardaí but no charges were filed against him.[4][5][6] The young man found in Stagg's car during this incident later cohabited with Seán Fortune, a priest accused of abusing minors.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Stagg's brother Frank Stagg was a Provisional Irish Republican Army member, who died in a British prison in 1976 while on hunger strike.[4]


  1. ^ "Mr. Emmet Stagg". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 3 November 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Emmet Stagg". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 3 November 2009. 
  3. ^ "Election 2016 - Kildare North". RTÉ News. Retrieved 28 February 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Alan Murdoch (9 March 1994). "Irish minister set to survive scandal". The Independent. Retrieved 12 October 2009. 
  5. ^ Kevin Myers (26 January 2006). "An Irishman's Diary". The Irish Times. Retrieved 3 January 2008. the real turning point in Ireland came when government minister Emmet Stagg was not summarily sacked after coming to Garda attention while loitering in an area of the Phoenix Park used by male prostitutes 
  6. ^ John Downing (25 September 2005). "Labour is taken to book". Irish Examiner. Archived from the original on 17 June 2006. Retrieved 3 January 2008. the controversy surrounding then-Minister of State, Emmet Stagg, in 1994 when Gardaí apprehended him in dubious circumstances in The Phoenix Park 
  7. ^ "Veronica Guerin told phone conversations about paedophile priest were taped". Sunday Independent. 6 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Joseph Bermingham
(Labour Party)
Labour Party Teachta Dála for Kildare
Constituency abolished
New constituency Labour Party Teachta Dála for Kildare North
Succeeded by
James Lawless
(Fianna Fáil)