Mairead McGuinness

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Mairead McGuinness
Mairead McGuinness, Ireland-MIP-Europaparlament-by-Leila-Paul-2.jpg
First Vice President of the European Parliament
Assumed office
18 January 2017
President Antonio Tajani
Preceded by Antonio Tajani
Member of the European Parliament
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Constituency Midlands–North-West
In office
1 July 2004 – 20 May 2014
Constituency East
Personal details
Born Mairead McGuinness
(1959-06-13) 13 June 1959 (age 59)
Drogheda, Louth, Ireland
Political party  Irish:
Fine Gael
European People's Party
Tom Duff (m. 1994)
Children 4
Alma mater University College Dublin
Website Official website

Mairead McGuinness (born 13 June 1959) is an Irish politician who has served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Ireland since 2004. She has served as the first Vice President of the European Parliament since January 2017. She is a member of Fine Gael, part of the European People's Party.[1]

Education and media career[edit]

McGuinness was the first female graduate of University College Dublin's Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural economics in 1980. In 1984, she completed a diploma in accounting and finance and followed a career in the media before entering politics in 2004.[1] She worked as a researcher on The Late Late Show, as a presenter on RTÉ's Ear to the Ground and Celebrity Farm, a journalist with the Irish Farmers Journal and editor of the Irish Independent's farming supplement.

Political career[edit]

In early 2004, McGuiness declared her intention to seek a nomination for the European Parliament election for Fine Gael. This followed speculation linking her to a similar move for the Progressive Democrats. At the selection convention in February 2004, she was selected to run alongside Avril Doyle. This proved controversial[citation needed], as it was widely expected that Fine Gael could win only one of the three seats in the East constituency. However, a stronger than expected performance from Fine Gael in the election saw both women being elected.

McGuinness has been appointed to serve on several European Parliament committees, including the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and the delegation for relations with Australia and New Zealand. McGuinness is a substitute member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on Petitions and the delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China.

She was a Fine Gael candidate for the Louth constituency at the 2007 general election but was not elected.[2] She was re-elected on the first count at the 2009 European election, topping the poll with 25.7% of the first preference votes.[2]

In April 2011, McGuiness announced that she wished to run for President of Ireland and would seek the Fine Gael party nomination for the 2011 presidential election.[3] In July 2011, she was defeated for the nomination by Gay Mitchell.[4]

At the 2014 European election, she was re-elected to the European Parliament for the new Midlands–North-West constituency.

In July 2014, McGuiness was elected Vice President of the European Parliament;[5] she secured an absolute majority to go through in the first round of voting by secret ballot.[6] Under the leadership of President Martin Schulz, she oversees the parliament’s information policy, press and citizens relations. In addition, she serves as chairwoman of the Working Group on Information and Communication Policy and as co-chair of the Inter-Institutional Group on Communication.[7]

In addition to her committee assignments and duties as Vice President, McGuiness is a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals[8] and the European Parliament Intergroup on Children’s Rights.[9] Alongside Karin Kadenbach, she also co-chairs the MEP Heart Group, a group of parliamentarians who have an interest in promoting measures that will help reduce the burden of cardiovascular diseases (CVD).[10] In November 2016, One Voice For Languages[11] welcomed McGuiness as their patron.[12]

Also in November 2016, McGuinness officially announced her candidacy for the office of President of the European Parliament.[13] Instead, Italian MEP and former European Commissioner Antonio Tajani was elected as the EPP group’s nominee to replace incumbent president Martin Schulz; McGuiness received the second highest number of votes.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Mairead McGuinness". European Parliament. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Mairead McGuinness". Retrieved 11 May 2009. 
  3. ^ "Maireád McGuinness in Áras bid". The Irish Times. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  4. ^ De Bréadún, Deaglán (9 July 2011). "Mitchell chosen as FG candidate". The Irish Times. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Mairead McGuinness". European Parliament. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  6. ^ Dave Keating (July 1, 2014), European Parliament elects vice-presidents European Voice.
  7. ^ Parliament vice-president portfolios assigned European Voice, November 13, 2014.
  8. ^ Members European Parliament Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals.
  9. ^ Members of the European Parliament Intergroup on Children’s Rights European Parliament.
  10. ^ Supporters MEP Heart Group.
  11. ^ "Speaking with one voice on languages". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  12. ^ "Live, Love, Learn Languages". One Voice for Languages. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  13. ^ Maïa de La Baume and David M. Herszenhorn (November 29, 2016), Pittella plans Parliament presidency bid Politico Europe.
  14. ^ Suzanne Lynch (December 13, 2016), Mairead McGuinness fails in bid for European Parliament president Irish Times.

External links[edit]

European Parliament
New constituency Member of the European Parliament
for East

Constituency abolished
Member of the European Parliament
for Midlands–North-West