Phil Prendergast

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Phil Prendergast
Prendergast, Phil-9374.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
In office
1 April 2011 – 16 May 2014
Constituency South
Leader of the Labour Party in the Seanad
In office
8 March 2011 – 25 May 2011
Leader Eamon Gilmore
Preceded by Alex White
Succeeded by Ivana Bacik
In office
24 July 2007 – 1 April 2011
Constituency Labour Panel
Personal details
Born Philomena Foley
(1959-09-20) 20 September 1959 (age 59)
Kilkenny, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Labour Party
Spouse(s) Ray Prendergast (m. 1996)
Children 2
Alma mater University College Cork

Philomena Prendergast (née Foley; born 20 September 1959) is a former Irish Labour Party politician who served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the South constituency from 2011 to 2014, Leader of the Labour Party in the Seanad in 2011 and a Senator for the Labour Panel from 2007 to 2011.[1]

Early and private life[edit]

Phil Foley was born in County Kilkenny. She was a midwife at South Tipperary General Hospital for more than 20 years, having trained in Waterford Regional Hospital. She is married to Ray Prendergast, a psychiatric nurse, and has two children.

She is a former local branch officer with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, on the Executive Board of which she served in 1994.

Political career[edit]


Prendergast served on Clonmel Borough Council and South Tipperary County Council from 1999 to 2007, where she was elected originally as a member of the Workers and Unemployed Action Group (WUAG).[2]


She first contested an election to Dáil Éireann in June 2001, when she stood on behalf of the WUAG in the Tipperary South by-election that followed the death of Theresa Ahearn; she polled 7,897 first preference votes. In June 2005, she left the WUAG to join the Labour Party. She was a Labour candidate at the 2007 general election in the Tipperary South constituency; she was unsuccessful, but was subsequently elected to the Seanad Eireann by the Labour Panel.

She caused some controversy within the local Labour Party branch when she tried to nominate a family member to replace her on the council.[3]

Previously a Labour spokesperson on the Older Person, Prendergast served in the Seanad as a spokesperson on Health, Art and Sports, and Social and Family Affairs.[2] She unsuccessfully contested the 2011 general election in Tipperary South, receiving almost 11.0% of the first preference votes.


In April 2011 she was selected as the replacement for MEP Alan Kelly, who was elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2011 election for Tipperary North.[4][5][6] She sat on the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, and on the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. As a Member of the European Parliament, Prendergast spoke 127 times in plenary session and worked on the amendation of 32 reports.[7]

She was involved in a controversy with the Labour Party leadership when she became the first member of the parliamentary party to call for the resignation of Health Minister James Reilly, following the announcement of the location of primary care health centres in the minister's own constituency.[8]

She lost her seat at the 2014 European Parliament election.


  1. ^ "Ms. Phil Prendergast". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Phil Prendergast". Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  3. ^ The appointment was on a temporary basis until a selection convention could take place. "Labour row as senator appoints husband to fill seats". Irish Examiner. 6 September 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2010.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Statutory Declaration" (PDF). Iris Oifigiúil. 15 April 2011.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Phil prepares for Euro role". The Nationalist. 30 March 2011. Archived from the original on 7 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Phil Prendergast". European Parliament. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  8. ^
European Parliament
Preceded by
Alan Kelly
Member of the European Parliament for South
Succeeded by
Liadh Ní Riada