Sean Barrett (economist)

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Not to be confused with Seán Barrett, Fine Gael TD and Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil.
Sean Barrett
Assumed office
April 2011
Constituency University of Dublin
Personal details
Born 1944
County Cork, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Maeve O'Brien
Children 1
Alma mater University College Dublin,
McMaster University

Sean Declan Conrad Barrett (born 1944) is an Irish economist and politician.[1] He is a senior lecturer in the department of economics of Trinity College, Dublin, and a Fellow of the College. In April 2011, he was elected to the Dublin University constituency of Seanad Éireann by graduates and scholars of the University.

Academic career[edit]

A graduate of University College Dublin (undergraduate degree and doctorate) in 1973, and of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Barrett has been a member of the University of Dublin's department of economics since 1977.[2]

Barrett's main field is transport economics, particularly the civil aviation sector, including scholarship concerning Ryanair, Aer Lingus and the economics of airports, as well as the effects of regulation and deregulation. His other work concerns health economics and the economics of public policy.[3]

Barrett is a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin and has served several terms on its Board. His college appointments include a term as Junior Dean and Registrar of Chambers between 1986 and 2000, making him the second longest-serving Junior Dean in the history of the college since its foundation in 1592.[3] He is also a Vice-President of the College Historical Society, its debating society.


Barrett has contested three Seanad Éireann elections in the three-seat University of Dublin constituency. He finished fourth at the 1997 election, behind the incumbent Senators David Norris, Mary Henry and Shane Ross.[4] At the 2002 election, he finished fifth behind the same three incumbents and his fellow future Dublin University Senator, Ivana Bacik.[5] Barrett did not contest the 2007 Seanad election.

Shane Ross was elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2011 general election, leaving an open seat to be won at the 2011 Seanad election. Barrett contested this election, and finished fourth on first preference votes, behind the third-placed candidate Tony Williams, former Dublin City Councillor and solicitor, who had received the endorsement of Shane Ross. Barrett received significant transfers of votes from supporters of unsuccessful candidates excluded throughout the count, and eventually overtook Williams to take the third seat.[6]



  1. ^ "Mr. Sean Barrett". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Sean Barrett". Department of Economics staff list. Trinity College, Dublin. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "TCD School of Social Sciences and Philosophy Staff". TCD Local Portal. Trinity College, Dublin. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "University of Dublin Seanad Election: July 1997". Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "University of Dublin Seanad Election: July 2002". Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Sean Barrett". Retrieved 20 November 2011. 

External links[edit]