Donie Cassidy

Donie Cassidy
Leader of Seanad Éireann
In office
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
Brian Cowen
Deputy Dan Boyle
Preceded by Mary O'Rourke
Succeeded by Maurice Cummins
In office
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
Preceded by Maurice Manning
Succeeded by Mary O'Rourke
In office
July 2007  April 2011
In office
May 1982  May 2002
Constituency Labour Panel
Teachta Dála
In office
May 2002  May 2007
Constituency Westmeath
Personal details
Born (1945-09-15) 15 September 1945
Castlepollard, Westmeath, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Fianna Fáil
Spouse(s) Anne Geraghty
Children 4

Daniel "Donie" Cassidy (born 15 September 1945) is an Irish businessman and a former Fianna Fáil politician.[1] He was a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Westmeath constituency from 2002 to 2007. From 1982 to 2002 and from 2007 to 2011, he served as a member of Seanad Éireann.

Early and personal life

Cassidy was born in Castlepollard in County Westmeath. He came to prominence in Ireland through the showband scene. A saxophone player with Jim Tobin and the Firehouse, he moved into showbusiness management. He was the manager of Foster and Allen, a popular singing duo that enjoyed success inside and outside Ireland.

Political career

He first became involved in politics in 1982 when he was elected as a Fianna Fáil Senator on the Labour Panel. He was a member of Westmeath County Council from 1985 until 2003 at which point he resigned from the council due to the abolition of the dual mandate.

Cassidy was elected to Dáil Éireann for the Westmeath constituency at the 2002 general election, taking the seat of sitting TD and Government Minister Mary O'Rourke.[2] This created a rift between the two politicians and Cassidy lost his seat to O'Rourke at the 2007 general election when both candidates contested the Longford–Westmeath constituency. The fact that Cassidy lost most of his home base of Castlepollard and north Westmeath due to the redrawing of the constituency did not help him. On 22 June 2007 Cassidy was nominated by the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to Seanad Éireann and created Leader of the Seanad for the remaining weeks of the 22nd Seanad's existence. Cassidy was subsequently elected to the Labour Panel at the 2007 Seanad general election and was Leader of the Seanad until March 2011. He lost his seat at the 2011 Seanad election.

Business interests

Cassidy owns two Dublin hotels and has another on the former site of the National Wax Museum, which he also owned. He also owns Celtic Note, a specialist Irish music store on Dublin's Nassau Street and since 1984 has had the franchise to sell CDs and DVDs at Dublin Airport. He also owns several buildings in Mullingar. His other interests include record and music publishing companies. He owns the publishing rights to many well known songs such as 'Grace' and 'My Lovely Rose of Clare'.

Prediction: Irish property prices

In a debate in Seanad Éireann on 10 April 2008, Cassidy stated the following about house prices in Ireland: "We have a duty to tell first-time house buyers, young couples with no previous experience, that there is unbelievable value in the marketplace today. It will not last forever. It is never the wrong time to do the right thing. I offer the House the benefit of my experience and my opinion which is all any Member can do. I will remind the House, perhaps in 12 or 18 months, when prices have again increased by 25% or 30%, that they were told this by the Leader of the House on this historic day, the tenth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement."[3] In the event, 12 months later the average house price had decreased by 21.8%.[4]


  1. "Mr. Donie Cassidy". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  2. "Donie Cassidy". Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  3. "Parliamentary Debates – Seanad Éireann – Vol. 189 No. 3". Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas. 10 April 2008. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  4. "Quarterly House Prices Bulletin, Q2 2009" (PDF). Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. 7 October 2009.
Preceded by
Mary O'Rourke
(Fianna Fáil)
Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for Westmeath
Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
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