Emmet Stagg

Emmet Stagg

Stagg in 2014
Labour Party Chief Whip
In office
May 2007  March 2016
Leader Eamon Gilmore
Joan Burton
Teachta Dála
In office
June 1997  February 2016
Constituency Kildare North
In office
February 1987  June 1997
Constituency Kildare
Minister of State
Department of Transport, Energy and Communications
In office
Taoiseach John Bruton
Minister of State
Housing and Urban Renewal
In office
Taoiseach Albert Reynolds
Personal details
Born (1944-10-01) 1 October 1944
Hollymount, County Mayo, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Labour Party
Spouse(s) Mary Morris
Children 2
Alma mater Kevin Street College of Technology, Dublin

Emmet Stagg (born 1 October 1944) is an Irish Labour Party politician. He was a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Kildare North constituency and Labour Party Chief Whip.[1]

Early life

Stagg was born at Hollymount, County Mayo and educated at Ballinrobe CBS school and Kevin Street College of Technology. Stagg worked as a Medical Technologist at Trinity College, Dublin before entering into full-time politics.

Political career

In 1979, he was elected to Kildare County Council for the Celbridge area, serving until 1993. He served again from 1999 until 2003. Stagg was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1987 general election for the Kildare constituency.[2] Since then he has served as party Front Bench spokesperson on a number of areas, including Agriculture (1987–89) and Social Welfare (1989–92).

During the 1980s and early 1990s, Stagg was a prominent figure within the internal politics of the Labour Party, being viewed as one of the leaders of the left-wing faction along with Michael D. Higgins and Joe Higgins within the party opposed to coalition with Fine Gael, and as a prominent opponent of the then party leader Dick Spring. He had opposed the expulsion of Joe Higgins and Militant Tendency at the 1989 conference and in the early 1990s he considered leaving the party and joining the newly formed Democratic Left, though he ultimately chose to stay with the party. In the Fianna Fáil–Labour Party coalition government formed after the 1992 general election, he became Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, with special responsibility for Housing and Urban Renewal.

In 1995, he was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Energy and Communications in the newly formed Rainbow Coalition Government.

He lost his seat at the 2016 general election,[2] having served as a TD for 29 consecutive years.[3]

Phoenix Park scandal

In 1994, while Minister of State, Stagg became the subject of a major press scandal after Gardaí found him loitering in an area of Dublin's Phoenix Park used by male prostitutes. Stagg was questioned by the Gardaí but no charges were filed against him.[4][5][6] The young man found in Stagg's car during this incident later cohabited with Seán Fortune, a priest accused of abusing minors.[7]

Personal life

His brother, Frank Stagg, was a Provisional Irish Republican Army member who died in a British prison in 1976 while on hunger strike.[4]


  1. "Mr. Emmet Stagg". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 3 November 2009.
  2. 1 2 "Emmet Stagg". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 3 November 2009.
  3. "Election 2016 - Kildare North". RTÉ News. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  4. 1 2 Alan Murdoch (9 March 1994). "Irish minister set to survive scandal". The Independent. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
  5. Kevin Myers (26 January 2006). "An Irishman's Diary". The Irish Times. Retrieved 3 January 2008. the real turning point in Ireland came when government minister Emmet Stagg was not summarily sacked after coming to Garda attention while loitering in an area of the Phoenix Park used by male prostitutes
  6. John Downing (25 September 2005). "Labour is taken to book". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 3 January 2008. the controversy surrounding then-Minister of State, Emmet Stagg, in 1994 when Gardaí apprehended him in dubious circumstances in The Phoenix Park
  7. "Veronica Guerin told phone conversations about paedophile priest were taped". Sunday Independent. 6 April 2014.
Preceded by
Joseph Bermingham
(Labour Party)
Labour Party Teachta Dála for Kildare
Constituency abolished
New constituency Labour Party Teachta Dála for Kildare North
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