Jimmy Harte

Jimmy Harte
In office
April 2011  September 2015
Constituency Industrial and Commercial Panel
Donegal County Councillor
In office
June 1999  April 2011
Constituency Letterkenny
Personal details
Born (1958-02-27) 27 February 1958
Lifford, Donegal, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Labour Party
Other political
Fine Gael (1994–2006)
Spouse(s) Mary Galligan
Children 4
Alma mater University College Dublin
Website jimmyharte.wordpress.com

Jimmy Harte (born 27 February 1958) is a former Irish Labour Party politician and was a member of Seanad Éireann from April 2011 to September 2015.[1]

Formerly an elected representative of Fine Gael, he left after failing to win the party's nomination for the 2007 general election, and ran unsuccessfully as an independent instead. He joined the Labour Party in 2010, running unsuccessfully for that party at the 2011 general election but was subsequently elected to the Seanad.


Harte was educated at Saint Eunan's College in Letterkenny,[2] and obtained a B.A. in Psychology from University College Dublin. He set up his own insurance broker business, Harte Insurances, at the age of 24.

The son of former Fine Gael TD Paddy Harte, he was elected as a Fine Gael candidate to Letterkenny Town Council in 1994 and subsequently to Donegal County Council in 1999. In 2006 he resigned from Fine Gael after failing to secure a nomination from the party to contest the Donegal North-East constituency for the 2007 general election. He subsequently stood as an independent candidate at that election but was not elected.[3]

National politics

Harte joined the Labour Party in 2010 and was that party's candidate for the 2011 general election for Donegal North-East, where he was unsuccessful in winning a seat.[3] Harte was subsequently elected to Seanad Éireann on the Industrial and Commercial Panel in April 2011. He became the Labour Party Seanad spokesperson on Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation.

In February 2012, he offered to pay for the flight of a Polish worker living in Donegal to return "home" to stop her receiving unemployment benefit and FAS training. It later transpired the article was mistranslated from Polish. After it became apparent the article Harte was talking about was mistranslated many people took to Twitter to question him about his opinion. In response Harte began to insult various users. He also accused some users of being xenophobic against Donegal while at the same time accusing other users of being "D4 types" in a derogatory manner. He later removed his comments, though accepted full responsibility for them.[4][5][6]


In the early hours of 16 November 2013, Harte was found unconscious at Newmarket Square, Dublin. He was taken to Beaumont Hospital and put in an induced coma, and underwent surgery for a fractured skull and brain trauma.[7] He had attended the Ireland–Latvia soccer friendly at the Aviva Stadium some hours earlier.[8] In late November 2013, he moved his hand.[9] In January 2014, Harte was transferred back to Beaumont Hospital in a critical condition.[10]


He resigned from the Seanad on 23 September 2015, and is still undergoing rehabilitative care.[11]


  1. "Mr. Jimmy Harte". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  2. Collins, Stephen (2011). Nealon's Guide to the 31st Dáil and 24th Seanad. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. p. 203. ISBN 9780717150595.
  3. 1 2 "Jimmy Harte". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  4. "Senator Harte says sorry for Twitter outburst in wake of Magda story". Highland Radio. 2 February 2012. Archived from the original on 9 March 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  5. "Labour Senator apologises for Twitter comments". Irish Examiner. 2 February 2012. Archived from the original on 9 March 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  6. "Labour Senator apologises over Twitter insults following 'Magda' controversy". The Journal.ie. 2 February 2012. Archived from the original on 9 March 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  7. "Labour senator Jimmy Harte in critical condition in hospital". Irish Independent. 16 November 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  8. "Labour Senator Jimmy Harte remains in critical but stable condition". TheJournal.ie. 18 November 2014. Archived from the original on 9 March 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  9. "Senator Harte showing small signs of possible recovery". Donegal Daily. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  10. "Labour senator Jimmy Harte transferred back to Dublin, remains in critical condition". TheJournal.ie. 17 January 2014. Archived from the original on 9 March 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  11. "Labour Senator Jimmy Harte resigns from Upper House". The Irish Times. 23 September 2015.
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