Marian Harkin

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Marian Harkin

Marian Harkin 2012.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
Assumed office
1 July 2014
In office
1 July 2004 – 20 May 2014
Teachta Dála
In office
May 2002 – May 2007
Personal details
Marian Anne White

(1953-11-26) 26 November 1953 (age 65)
Sligo, Ireland
Political party Irish:
European Democratic Party
Spouse(s)Seán Harkin (m. 1985; d. 1996)
Alma materUniversity College Dublin

Marian Anne Harkin (born 26 November 1953) is an Irish politician who has served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Ireland since 2004. She is an Independent politician, but part of the European political party European Democratic Party and the parliamentary group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. She previously served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Sligo–Leitrim constituency from 2002 to 2007.[1]

Early and family life[edit]

Harkin was born in Ballintogher, County Sligo in 1953. She is a graduate of University College, Dublin, with a Bachelor of Science degree in geology. She worked as a teacher of mathematics in a secondary school in Sligo town for 23 years. She lived in Manorhamilton, County Leitrim, with her husband, Seán Harkin, where he ran a grocery business until his death in 1996. After her husband's death, Harkin and her two sons moved to Sligo Town, where they now live.

Community activism[edit]

While living in Manorhamilton, Harkin became active in the voluntary and community sector and developed the view that people living in disadvantaged areas such as Connacht had to rely on their own initiative and energy to progress development of their region. Her work at local level led to her appointment to Developing the West Together, which evolved into the Council for the West, of which Harkin became chairperson.

Irish politics[edit]

She was elected to Dáil Éireann as an independent Teachta Dála (TD) for the Sligo–Leitrim constituency at the 2002 general election, receiving the highest number of first preference votes in the constituency.

Member of the European Parliament, 2004–present[edit]

At the 2004 European Parliament election, she was returned as a member of the European Parliament for the North-West constituency topping the poll and being elected on the fourth count.[2] She had previously contested the 1999 European Parliament election in the same constituency (then called Connacht–Ulster), but had narrowly failed to be elected, losing out to Dana Rosemary Scallon for the third seat in the constituency. However in 2004, the position was reversed and Harkin was returned at Scallon's expense.

Harkin retired from her Dáil seat at the 2007 general election to concentrate on her European seat.[3]

She is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE) in the European Parliament, which comprises 85 MEPs from 19 member states.[4] Harkin is a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the delegation for relations with the United States. She has been European Democratic Party Vice-President since December 2012. In addition, she serves as Vice-Chairwoman of the European Parliament Intergroup on Integrity (Transparency, Anti-Corruption and Organized Crime).[5] She is also a supporter of 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).[6]

She was re-elected to the European Parliament at the 2009 European Parliament election topping the poll in her constituency. She was again re-elected at the 2014 European Parliament election, taking the fourth seat in the new Midlands-North-West constituency.

She advocates reopening the Western Rail Corridor to trains from Claremorris to Sligo and onto Sligo to Donegal and to Northern Ireland after it reopens from Galway to Claremorris.


  1. ^ "Ms. Marian Harkin". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  2. ^ "Marian Harkin". Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  3. ^ "Independent TD Harkin to stand down". RTÉ News. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  4. ^ "Your MEPs: Marian Harkin". European Parliament. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  5. ^ Members of the European Parliament on Integrity (Transparency, Anti-Corruption and Organized Crime) European Parliament.
  6. ^ Supporters MEP Heart Group.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Gerry Reynolds
(Fine Gael)
Independent Teachta Dála for Sligo–Leitrim
Constituency abolished
European Parliament
Preceded by
Dana Rosemary Scallon
Member of the European Parliament for North-West
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of the European Parliament for Midlands–North-West