Marian Harkin

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Marian Harkin
Harkin in 2022
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2020
In office
May 2002 – May 2007
Member of the European Parliament
In office
1 July 2014 – 24 May 2019
In office
1 July 2004 – 20 May 2014
Personal details
Born (1953-11-26) 26 November 1953 (age 70)
Ballintogher, County Sligo, Ireland
Political partyIndependent
Other political
European Democratic Party
Seán Harkin
(m. 1985; died 1996)
Alma materUniversity College Dublin

Marian Harkin (born 26 November 1953) is an Irish independent politician who has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Sligo–Leitrim constituency since the 2020 general election, and previously from 2002 to 2007. She previously served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 2004 to 2019.[1][2]

Early and family life[edit]

Harkin was born in Ballintogher, County Sligo, in 1953. She studied at University College Dublin, where she attained a Bachelor of Science degree in geology. She worked as a maths teacher at Mercy College secondary school in Sligo for 25 years, before entering into politics.[3]

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.[4]

Irish politics[edit]

She was elected to Dáil Éireann as an Independent TD for the Sligo–Leitrim constituency at the 2002 general election, receiving the highest number of first preference votes in the constituency.[5]

Member of the European Parliament, 2004–2019[edit]

At the 2004 European Parliament election, she was returned as an MEP for the North-West constituency topping the poll and being elected on the fourth count.[6] 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 resigned from her Dáil seat at the 2007 general election to concentrate on her European seat.[7]

She was 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.[8] Harkin was 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 served as vice-chairwoman of the European Parliament Intergroup on Integrity (Transparency, Anti-Corruption and Organized Crime).[9] 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).[10]

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.

On 1 April 2019, she announced that she was not standing for re-election in the 2019 European Parliament election,[11] and the following January, she announced she was standing in the 2020 Irish general election.[12]


  1. ^ "Marian Harkin". Oireachtas Members Database. Archived from the original on 8 November 2018. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  2. ^ "General Election 2020 Live Results - RTÉ News". RTÉ News. Archived from the original on 13 February 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Harkin goes back to school as 'powerful, female role model'". Irish Independent. 23 May 2002. Retrieved 27 April 2023.
  4. ^ "Marian Harkin – Independent – 2004 European Elections". Irish Election Literature. 19 April 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2023.
  5. ^ "General Election: 17 May 2002 – Sligo-Leitrim". Retrieved 27 April 2023.
  6. ^ "Marian Harkin". Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  7. ^ "Independent TD Harkin to stand down". RTÉ News. 11 December 2006. Archived from the original on 9 October 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Your MEPs: Marian Harkin". European Parliament. Archived from the original on 3 September 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  9. ^ Members of the European Parliament on Integrity (Transparency, Anti-Corruption and Organized Crime) Archived 8 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine European Parliament.
  10. ^ Supporters Archived 7 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine MEP Heart Group.
  11. ^ "Marian Harkin not to contest European Parliament elections". The Irish Times. 1 April 2019. Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Harkin to run in election as Independent candidate". Leitrim Observer. 13 January 2020. Archived from the original on 13 January 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2020.

External links[edit]

European Parliament
Preceded by Member of the European Parliament for North-West
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of the European Parliament for Midlands–North-West
Succeeded by