Brian Ó Domhnaill

Brian Ó Domhnaill
Assumed office
April 2011
Constituency Agricultural Panel
In office
August 2007  April 2011
Constituency Nominated by the Taoiseach
Personal details
Born (1977-10-18) 18 October 1977
County Donegal, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Fianna Fáil
Alma mater University of Ulster
An Ó Domhnaill election poster on Stranorlar main street during the Donegal South-West by-election, 2010.

Brian Ó Domhnaill ([ˈbʲɾʲiən̪ˠ oː ˈd̪ˠɔwn̪ˠəlʲ]; born 18 October 1977) is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician and member of Seanad Éireann since 2007.[1]

Ó Domhnaill is from Cloughaneely in County Donegal. He attended the University of Ulster where he obtained a bachelor's degree in Food Technology Management.[2] He was a sports scholarship student at the university and is a former Irish international athlete.[2]

A member of Donegal County Council for the Glenties area from 2004 to 2007, Ó Domhnaill topped the poll on his first occasion running as the Fianna Fáil candidate in the Glenties local electoral area.[3] He was an unsuccessful candidate at the Seanad election for the Industrial and Commercial Panel in 2007.[4] He was elected to Údarás na Gaeltachta board in 1999 and re-elected in 2005. He was nominated by the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern to the Seanad on 3 August 2007. He was the Fianna Fáil Seanad spokesperson on Lifelong Learning, Youth Work and School Transport in the 23rd Seanad.

He is the Fianna Fáil Seanad spokesperson on Agriculture, Marine and Fisheries.

He was the Fianna Fáil candidate in the 2010 by-election in the Donegal South-West constituency, which was held on 25 November 2010. He received 7,344 first preference votes (21.3%) and finished in third place on the final count. The seat was won by Pearse Doherty of Sinn Féin.[5] He was an unsuccessful candidate at the 2011 general election for Donegal South-West.

He was elected to the Seanad on the Agricultural Panel in April 2011.

In July 2013, during the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 Seanad debate, Ó Domhnaill claimed that allowing abortions in the case of foetal anomalies would deprive Ireland of future Special Olympics athletes. He also remarked that Down Syndrome babies could be "left to die on sterilised trays".[6]


Ó Domhnaill took €109,428 in expenses between the formation of the 23rd Seanad in 2007 and 2009.[7] He took expenses of €56,000 between 2005 and 2009 from being a board member of Údarás na Gaeltachta.[8]

On 20 November 2012, the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) announced a formal investigation into allegations relating to Ó Domhnaill's travel and subsistence expenses claims.[9][10] On the 6 June 2013, the commission announced that it was postponing its investigation into Ó Domhnaill until a later date.[11]

This followed a number of legal challenges by Ó Domhnaill who managed to fend off the investigation until 2016 when it began. In May of that year, he was reported to have breached ethics rules on at least three occasions, with travel and subsistence claims for being at events held at the same time but hundreds of kilometres from each other. Ó Domhnaill claimed that in these instances he had left one event and travelled across the country to attend another event only to later return to the first event. However, this was not reflected in Ó Domhnaill's expenses forms. Ó Domhnaill's habit of submitting his expenses claims many months (and, at times, longer) after incurring them was also noted.[12]


  1. "Mr. Brian Ó Domhnaill". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  2. 1 2 "About me". Brian Ó Domhnaill's website. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  3. "Glenties – Local Elections 2004". Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  4. "Brian Ó Domhnaill". Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  5. "Live updates: Donegal by-election count". RTÉ News. 26 November 2010.
  6. "Senator: Abortions would deprive future Special Olympians of life". Irish Examiner. 18 July 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  7. "Ó Domhnaill claims €109k expenses on top of €70k Salary". Inishowen News. 2 September 2009.
  8. McDonald, Brian (1 October 2009). "Gaeltacht board picks up €800,000 in expenses". Irish Independent.
  9. "FF Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill probed over expenses". RTÉ News. 20 November 2012.
  10. "Ó Domhnaill to be formally investigated over expenses allegations". Donegal Daily. 20 November 2012.
  11. "Standards Commission Investigation Postponed". Standards in Public Office Commission. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  12. Phelan, Shane (9 May 2016). "Fianna Fáil Senator made 'conflicting' expenses claims, hearing told". Irish Independent.

External links

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