Michelle Mulherin

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Senator
Michelle Mulherin
Senator
Assumed office
25 May 2016
Constituency Nominated by the Taoiseach
Teachta Dála
In office
February 2011 – February 2016
Constituency Mayo
Personal details
Born 20 January 1972 (1972-01-20) (age 45)
Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Fine Gael

Michelle Mulherin (born 20 January 1972) is an Irish Fine Gael politician.[1]

Career[edit]

She was elected as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Mayo constituency at the 2011 general election. She was elected to Ballina Town Council in 1999[2] and has also served as a Mayo County Councillor from 2004 until her election to Dáil Éireann in 2011.[2] Mulherin unsuccessfully stood for election in the Mayo constituency at the 2007 general election.[2] She lost her seat at the 2016 general election.

Mulherin was nominated by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny to the 25th Seanad in May 2016.[2][3]

Controversies[edit]

In March 2011 Mulherin criticised the Libyan National Transitional Council during the 2011 Libyan Civil War, saying that it was an "internal matter" and that "oil was what made Libya 'special' and the external interference from countries such as the US is worrying".[4] Mulherin was not disciplined for her comments, which dissented against the official Fine Gael policy.[5]

Several months later, in June 2011, she was among a number of backbench Fine Gael TDs who criticised the level of payments being made to the unemployed. She called for National service to be introduced in order to tackle a "culture of entitlement". This proposal was criticised by a senior member of Fine Gael,who described the proposal as not being "out of place at a convention of the Tea Party movement in America".[6]

In April 2012 she spoke in a Dáil Éireann debate on the subject of limited abortion. In her brief contribution she described the liberating grace of God and the "fallen nature" of all people, and claimed that "fornication, I would say, is probably the single most likely cause of unwanted pregnancies in this country".[7] This was criticised by TDs who favoured more access to abortion, including the independent Luke 'Ming' Flanagan and Clare Daly, the Socialist Party representative who had proposed the bill being debated.[8] In a television interview a few days later, she clarified that by 'fornication' she had meant 'consensual sex between adults who are not married to each other'.[9]

In March 2013 Mulherin accused youth information site Spunout.ie of publishing inappropriate sex education content. Mulherin claimed that the information on the site was "incredibly regressive" and said that she would raise the issue of funding for the site with Health Minister James Reilly.[10]

In January and February 2015 Mulherin paid €3,295 to the Leinster House authorities for 130 phone calls she made from her Leinster House phone to an individual in Kenya who previously worked on her election campaign.[11]

In 2016, after Mayo reached the All-Ireland Football Final, she claimed she should have a right to a ticket for the Final because she was a Senator. This was despite the fact that she admitted to having attended only two of Mayo's matches en route to the final.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ms. Michelle Mulherin". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Michelle Mulherin". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Sarah Bardon (27 May 2016). "FF leader selects three of Taoiseach's 11 Seanad appointees". Irish Times. 
  4. ^ O'Halloran, Marie (25 March 2011). "FG TD says Libyan rebellion should not be supported". The Irish Times. 
  5. ^ De Bréadún, Deaglán (26 March 2011). "Mulherin will not be disciplined over Libya stance". The Irish Times. 
  6. ^ "'Deadbeat dads' under fire in new proposals". Irish Independent. 12 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Fine Gael TD: Fornication the main cause of unwanted pregnancies". Newstalk. 19 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Fornication the 'cause of unwanted pregnancies'". The Irish Times. 20 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "Michelle Mulherin - The Saturday Night Show Transcript". RTÉ. 22 April 2012. 
  10. ^ Mac Cormaic, Ruadhan (24 March 2013). "Youth website defends sex advice". The Irish Times. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  11. ^ O’Connor, Niall (24 February 2015). "Michelle Mulherin maintains 130 calls made to Kenya were 'work-related'". The Irish Independent. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  12. ^ "Michelle Mulherin accuses GAA of discrimination after failing to get an All-Ireland ticket at the last minute". Journal.ie. 15 September 2016. 

External links[edit]

Oireachtas
Preceded by
Beverley Flynn
(Fianna Fáil)
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Mayo
20112016
Succeeded by
?