Mary Fitzpatrick

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Mary Fitzpatrick
Assumed office
29 June 2020
ConstituencyNominated by the Taoiseach
Personal details
Born (1969-02-20) 20 February 1969 (age 55)
Dublin, Ireland
Political partyFianna Fáil
SpouseSean Cody (m. 1999)
Alma materUniversity College Dublin

Mary Fitzpatrick (born 20 February 1969) is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who has served as a Senator since June 2020, after being nominated by the Taoiseach.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Fitzpatrick is from the Navan Road in Dublin and was educated at Our Lady Help of Christians and St. Dominic's College, Cabra before graduating from University College Dublin with a BA in German and Italian.


Fitzpatrick emigrated in the 1980s, living and working abroad with roles in the hospitality, manufacturing, education and construction sectors. From the early 1990s, she held International Sales and Marketing roles.

Political career[edit]

Fitzpatrick was co-opted to Dublin City Council in 2003 to replace her father, Dermot Fitzpatrick, who stood down after the dual mandate prohibited sitting members of the Oireachtas from holding local authority seats. She was re-elected at the 2004 local elections, polling over 10% of the vote.

The 2007 general election, held under Ireland's single transferable vote system, rival Cyprian Brady polled just 939 first preference votes (2.7%) in the first count, compared to Fitzpatrick's 1,725. However he was elected on the fourth count, due in large part to transfers from his running mate, the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern,[3] and became only the second ever TD (after Brian O'Higgins) to be elected with less than 1,000 first-preference votes.[4][5]

The election became the subject of a public controversy, covered in national newspapers[6][7] and on the RTÉ Radio 1 news programme Drivetime and on the weekly Documentary on One which had been covering the campaigns of the three female candidates in the constituency.[8]

Fitzpatrick, was the daughter of the outgoing Fianna Fáil TD and the third Fianna Fáil candidate in the 4-seat constituency, received 1,725 first-preference votes and 1,362 of Ahern's transfers (whereas Brady received 2,403).[3] On the night before polling day, 24 May 2007, Fitzpatrick distributed leaflets to households asking people to vote for her as their first preference. In the early hours of the following morning, a letter had been hand-delivered from Ahern's office to 30,000 voters in the constituency, urging them to give their first preference to the Taoiseach and their second to Brady.[6] Since Ahern was expected to be elected with a large surplus, and the overall Fianna Fáil vote was likely to be large enough to elect two candidates, the destination of the Taoiseach's transfers would determine whether Brady or Fitzpatrick won the second Fianna Fáil seat in Dublin Central. After Ahern's transfers secured Brady's election, Fitzpatrick complained that "I didn't think they'd go out to completely undermine me and shaft me."[9] Ahern's election agent Chris Wall blamed Fitzpatrick, saying "She was asked not to do this sort of thing. Having then done it, she therefore effectively set in train a motion she wasn't going to be able to stop."[9] Brady said "An election is an election and not everybody can win", adding "Mary is a colleague of mine and she is a very good councillor. It's not really fair for Mary to be blaming anybody".[6]

Fitzpatrick was the only Fianna Fáil candidate to be elected on the first count in Dublin in the 2009 local elections. The massive difference between Fitzpatrick's result and that of Maurice Ahern, brother of the former Taoiseach who lost his council seat, was viewed as a reaction to perceived unfairness in Fitzpatrick's treatment by the "Ahern machine" or the "Drumcondra mafia".[10]

In January 2011, she was selected as a Fianna Fáil candidate in Dublin Central for the 2011 general election. Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who was not running again, said his loyalties this time would be with sitting TD Cyprian Brady and there was no hope of Fianna Fáil winning two seats in the constituency.[11][12][13]

During the campaign, former Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte, reacting to her appointment as Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Housing and Urban Development, said "You might as well wander down Grafton Street and see if you can meet a couple of good-looking women and say, 'Would you ever mind coming up for the photograph'." Fitzpatrick replied: "I'm happy to take the compliment of being a good-looking woman any day, particularly from the Opposition. But I do take issue with his dismissive and patronising attitude to the contribution I've made to political life. It is a real shame that when women are given important jobs on their own merits, they have to deal with sexist comments from Pat Rabbitte."[14][15][16]

During the campaign the rows between her and Cyprian Brady were widely reported in the media.[17][18] Suffering from the massive backlash against Fianna Fáil in Dublin she polled 10% of the vote, losing the final seat to Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin.

As part of Micheál Martin's strategy to rebuild a decimated Fianna Fáil party, she was put forward for Seanad election on the Administrative Panel but was not elected. As a consequence of the Seanad "inside/outside" election rules, Fitzparick was the highest polling candidate in the 2011 Seanad election not be elected.[19]

She was selected as the Fianna Fáil candidate for the Dublin constituency at the 2014 European Parliament election.[20] She illegally erected posters too early, causing some controversy when she was accused of flouting regulations.[21][22] She failed to get elected.

At the 2016 general election, she stood again in Dublin Central. She received 10.6% of the first preference votes but was not elected.[23] At the 2019 local elections, she stood in the Cabra-Glasnevin local electoral area. She received 19.4% of the first preference votes and topped the poll on the first count. At the 2020 general election, she was eliminated in the Dublin Central constituency, having received 10.3% of the first preference votes.

In June 2020, she was nominated by the Taoiseach Micheál Martin to the Seanad.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Fitzpatrick lives in Glasnevin, Dublin with her husband Seán Cody, and their three children. She speaks German, Italian and French


  1. ^ "Mary Fitzpatrick". Oireachtas Members Database. Archived from the original on 8 July 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  2. ^ "Micheál Martin announces new Fianna Fáil frontbench". Fianna Fáil. 31 January 2011. Archived from the original on 2 February 2011.
  3. ^ a b "General Election, 24 May 2007: Dublin Central". Archived from the original on 15 June 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2008.
  4. ^ John Drennan (27 May 2007). "It's a miracle! Bertie raises Cyprian from political tomb". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2008.
  5. ^ "1923 General election – Clare". Archived from the original on 21 February 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
  6. ^ a b c Ronan McGreevy (31 May 2007). "Taoiseach's running mate accuses FF of 'shafting' her". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2008.
  7. ^ Colm Kelpie (31 May 2007). "Beaten FF candidate hits out at party 'sabotage' of campaign". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2008.
  8. ^ Bernice Harrison (2 June 2007). "With running mate like these…". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 6 August 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  9. ^ a b "FF candidate says she was sabotaged". The Irish Times. 30 May 2007. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2008.
  10. ^ Olivia Kelly, "Fianna Fail set to take just six seats" Archived 7 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Irish Times, 8 June 2009
  11. ^ "'Shafted' Mary gets last laugh on Bertie". Irish Independent. 25 January 2011. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  12. ^ Gartland, Fiona (25 January 2011). "Fitzpatrick and Brady selected for Dublin Central". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 28 January 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  13. ^ "End of a dynasty as Noel Ahern joins Bertie and heads for exit". Evening Herald. 26 January 2011. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  14. ^ "Rabbitte sexism row grows despite apology". Evening Herald. 2 February 2011. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012.
  15. ^ "Martin: Rabbitte comments 'dismissive of women'". Irish Examiner. 2 February 2011. Archived from the original on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  16. ^ "Pat Rabbitte accused of sexist comments". RTÉ News. 1 February 2011. Archived from the original on 4 February 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  17. ^ "FF turn on each other over scraps". 18 November 2010. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  18. ^ Michael White in Dublin (25 February 2011). "Irish general election turns into slanging match with parties divided". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  19. ^ Kelly, Fiach; Sheahan, Fionnan (30 April 2011). "Fitzpatrick loses yet another tight contest". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  20. ^ "Dublin seat shaping up to be the one to watch in the European elections". The Irish Times. 1 February 2014. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  21. ^ Kelly, Fiach (23 April 2014). "Candidates face €150 fine for each poster put up early". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  22. ^ Hosford, Paul (19 April 2014). "Fianna Fáil candidate accused of "flouting regulations" as election posters go up four days early". Archived from the original on 20 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  23. ^ "Mary Fitzpatrick". Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  24. ^ "Taoiseach Micheál Martin announces his 11 Seanad nominees". 27 June 2020. Archived from the original on 30 June 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2021.

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