Penrose pictured in 2005.
|Minister of State for Housing and Planning|
9 March 2011 – 15 November 2011
|Preceded by||New office|
|Succeeded by||Jan O'Sullivan|
November 1992 – May 2007
1 August 1956 |
Ballynacargy, County Westmeath
|Political party||Labour Party
|Alma mater||University College Dublin,
Willie Penrose (born 18 August 1956) is an Irish Labour Party politician. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Longford–Westmeath constituency since May 2007. He was Minister of State for Housing and Planning from March to November 2011, when he resigned his position and also the Labour Party whip over the closure of an army barracks.
Penrose was born in Ballynacargy, County Westmeath, and educated at St. Mary's CBS, Mullingar; Coláiste Mhuire, Mullingar; Multyfarnham Agricultural College; University College Dublin (UCD), and the King's Inns. At UCD, he studied Agricultural Science, graduating in 1979 with a bachelor's degree, following this one year later with a Master's degree in Agricultural Economics, and after graduation, with a colleague, formed an agricultural consultancy firm in Mullingar. In 1986, Penrose took up the position of advisor to the Minister of State at the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Tourism, Michael Moynihan, resigning from the agricultural consultancy to do so. That same year, he commenced his studies to become a barrister, and he came first in his class in both his first and second years at King's Inns, from which institution he qualified as a barrister in 1990.
In 1969, at just 13 years of age, Penrose became secretary of the newly-reinstated Ballynacargy Labour Party branch. In 1984, he was co-opted on to Westmeath County Council, and a year later, he ran in the local elections, winning his seat in the Mullingar Lough Owel constituency by a margin of just six votes. In the 1991 local elections, he topped the poll in the Mullingar Rural Area.
He qualified as a barrister in 1990 before entering into national politics. At the 1992 general election he was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a TD for the Westmeath constituency. On that occasion the Labour Party won a record 33 Dáil seats, a feat that was surpassed at the 2011 General election.
In 2002, Penrose was a candidate for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party. Although he was part of a joint ticket with Pat Rabbitte, who won the leadership comfortably, he was narrowly defeated for the deputy leadership by Liz McManus, polling 1,636 votes to McManus' 1,728.
Minister of State (2011)
On 10 March 2011, he was appointed as Minister of State for Housing and Planning.
On 15 November 2011, he announced his resignation as Minister of State due to his opposition to the Government's decision to close Columb Barracks in Mullingar. Penrose said: "I understand and appreciate that significant efforts were made by my Labour colleagues in Government, who fully understood the depths of my feelings in this regard, to resolve this matter, but to no avail." He also resigned the Labour parliamentary party whip.
He rejoined the parliamentary Labour Party in October 2013.
- "Mr. Willie Penrose". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
- Cullen, Paul; Minihan, Mary (16 November 2011). "Minister's resignation increases fears over budget cuts". The Irish Times.
- "Willie Penrose Recalls Family Contribution Which Saw Him Through University". Westmeath Examiner. January 23, 1993. p. 3.
- "Willie Penrose". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
- "Penrose quits on barracks issue". The Irish Times. 15 November 2011.
- "Penrose quits Cabinet over barracks closure". RTÉ News. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- "Labour's Penrose resigns from Government over barracks closure". Irish Independent. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- "Penrose welcomed 'back into Labour fold' by Gilmore". TheJournal.ie. 7 October 2013.
|New constituency||Labour Party Teachta Dála for Westmeath
|New constituency||Labour Party Teachta Dála for Longford–Westmeath
|New office||Minister of State for Housing and Planning