Lynn Boylan

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Lynn Boylan
Lynn Boylan (Lynn Ní Bhaoigheallain).jpg
Member of the European Parliament
In office
1 July 2014 – 24 May 2019
Personal details
Lynn Maria Boylan

(1976-11-29) 29 November 1976 (age 42)
Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland
Political partySinn Féin
Spouse(s)Eoin Ó Broin (m. 2008)
Alma materUniversity College Dublin

Lynn Maria Boylan (Irish: Lynn Ní Bhaoighealláin; born 29 November 1976) is an Irish Sinn Féin politician who served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Dublin constituency from 2014 to 2019.[1]

Early life[edit]

Boylan grew up in the Kilnamanagh area of Tallaght.[2] Initially studying journalism and gaining a certificate, she went on to earn post-graduate qualifications from University College Dublin in Environmental Impact Assessment and European Environmental Conservation Management.[2]


In 2005, Boylan moved to County Kerry while working as a coordinator for the Irish Wildlife Trust at Killarney National Park. That same year she joined Sinn Féin.

Under her Irish-language name Lynn Ní Bhaoighealláin,[3] she stood at the 2007 general election as the Sinn Féin candidate in the Kerry South constituency.[4] With only 3.5% of the first-preference votes, she was eliminated on the first count.[4] At the 2009 local elections, she stood for the Killarney electoral area of Kerry County Council, but was again unsuccessful.[3] She attributed her defeats to being an outsider: "As a Dub in Kerry the odds were stacked against me", she told the Irish Times in 2014.[3]


Boylan returned to Dublin in 2011 to work in Ballymun[2][5] for the Global Action Plan, an environmental initiative funded by Ballymun Regeneration.[6] In 2010, she was appointed as chair of the advisory board of Safefood.[5][6]

In September 2013, Boylan was selected as the Sinn Féin candidate for the Dublin constituency at the European Parliament election in May 2014.[7] She then left her job, and as a candidate was paid a wage by Sinn Féin while she went canvassing three or four times a day.[3]

Boylan began her campaign "practically anonymous", according to Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams.[7] By April, Boylan was still described by the Irish Independent newspaper as a "political unknown".[8] Instead of raising her media profile, Boylan's campaign concentrated on canvassing, mostly door-to-door rather than the busier shopping centres.[7]

Despite the lack of media exposure, by late May the polls showed Boylan in the lead.[3] After voting on 23 May, Boylan won 23.6% of the first preference votes, and was elected on the third count.[4]

As the election count pointed towards Boylan's win, the Fianna Fáil candidate Mary Fitzpatrick asked: "Who could have said somebody would come from nowhere, no track record in Dublin, and still take the lead and steal the first seat and probably have a surplus?"[6]


Boylan was a campaigner[9] for the release of Ibrahim Halawa, an Irish citizen from Firhouse in South Dublin who was imprisoned in Egypt between 2013 and 2017[10] and was adopted by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience.[11] In March 2015, Boylan described Halawa as an "Irish-speaking, GAA-playing Dublin lad", and asked if the Irish Government would do more if his name was "Paddy Murphy".[12] In December 2015, Boylan sponsored a motion in the European Parliament calling Halawa's release. She introduced his two sisters to the Parliament before the vote, which passed by over 560 votes to 11.[10]

She lost her seat at the 2019 European Parliament election.

Personal life[edit]

Boylan is the partner of Eoin Ó Broin, who has been the Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Mid-West since 2016.[13]


  1. ^ McGee, Harry (26 May 2014). "Lynn Boylan is first MEP to be elected in Dublin". Irish Times. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Moloney, Mark (2 January 2014). "Running for an all-Ireland team in Europe - Dublin EU candidate talks to An Phoblacht". An Phoblacht. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e Lord, Miriam (22 May 2014). "The Sinn Féin candidate who is making a name for herself". Irish Times. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Lynn Boylan". Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Lynn Boylan". Sinn Féin website. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Caroline, O’Doherty (22 May 2014). "Opposition finds Boylan's victory hard to swallow". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Clifford, Michael (22 May 2014). "Lynn Boylan: The new Mary Lou?". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  8. ^ Drennan, John (27 April 2014). "'Cinderella girl' looks likely to claim capital as respectable face of Sinn Fein Nua". Irish Independent. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  9. ^ Brennan, Colin (2 June 2016). "Irishman Ibrahim Halawa reveals 'gruesome tortures' in Egyptian prison hell". Irish Mirror. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  10. ^ a b "MEPs pass resolution seeking Halawa release". RTÉ News. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Free Ibrahim Halawa". Amnesty International. Archived from the original on 6 April 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  12. ^ McGreevy, Ronan (27 March 2015). "Halawa family call for public support to get brother released". Irish Times. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  13. ^ Holland, Kitty (27 February 2016). "Profile: Eoin Ó Broin (SF)". Irish Times. Retrieved 16 June 2016.

External links[edit]