Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Mac Lochlainn in 2014
Assumed office
April 2016
Constituency Industrial and Commercial Panel
Teachta Dála
In office
February 2011  February 2016
Constituency Donegal North-East
Personal details
Born (1973-06-12) 12 June 1973
Leeds, United Kingdom
Nationality Irish
Political party Sinn Féin
Website www.donegalsf.com/representatives/937

Pádraig Mac Lochlainn ([ˈpˠaːd̪ˠɾˠəɟ mˠak ˈl̪ˠɔxl̪ˠənʲ]; born 12 June 1973) is an Irish Sinn Féin politician who served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Donegal North-East constituency between 2011 and 2016.[1] He lost his seat at the 2016 general election but was subsequently elected to the Seanad in April 2016.

Early life

Mac Lochlainn was born in Leeds, England on 12 June 1973, the son of two Irish parents, Réamonn and Mary Mac Lochlainn. He is their only child. His father was a Provisional IRA volunteer who spent nine and a half years imprisoned in jails across England. Upon release in 1987, his father wrote a book about his prison experience called "Inside An English Jail" under the name of Raymond McLaughlin.

Mary Mac Lochlainn was raised in an Irish Traveller family making Pádraig Mac Lochlainn the first TD from a Traveller background. He was raised by his mother and grandmother for the duration of his father's imprisonment, and described them as “two strong, loving Traveller women” .[2]

After his father's release from prison in England, Mac Lochlainn then aged 10 moved with his family to his father's home of Buncrana, County Donegal and he has lived there since. His father died in a drowning accident in Shannon, County Clare in 1985. He left school at the age of 14 and later returned to education as an adult through community development studies and distance learning. He worked in the painting and decorating trade for many years.[3]

Civic and political career

He was the Donegal spokesperson for the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU) from 1997 to 2001. He also served on the INOU National Executive from 1997 until 2000 as well as representing the organisation on the National Rural Development Forum.

At local level, he was a community director on the Inishowen Partnership Board for 5 years from 1996 to 2001. His work as a community activist and political representative had led him to speak at conferences across Europe on the issues of unemployment, regional neglect and rural poverty.

He was co-opted onto Buncrana Town Council in 2002. He was then subsequently elected onto Buncrana Town Council in 2004 and 2009. He was also elected to Donegal County Council in 2004 representing the Inishowen local electoral area and was re-elected in 2009. Mac Lochlainn served as Mayor of Buncrana twice; 2005–06 and 2010–11. He also served as Deputy Mayor of Donegal from 2010 to 2011.

At national level, he was the Director of Sinn Féin's campaign against the Lisbon Treaty in 2008. He has served as Chairperson of his party's National Councillors Forum (NCF) and has served on the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle (National Executive). He was appointed to the board of InterTradeIreland, the Trade and Business Development Body in December 2007 and served on the board up until March 2011.

Dáil Éireann (2011–16)

Mac Lochlainn was elected to the Dáil on 25 February 2011 for the constituency of Donegal North-East on his third attempt.[4]

He is the Sinn Féin Dáil Spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Defence serving as a member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence. He was elected Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Public Services Oversight and Petitions Committee on 30 January 2013.[5] He previously served as the Sinn Féin Dáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade and was a member of two Joint Oireachtas Committees, Foreign Affairs and Trade and European Affairs.

He served as a member of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly for almost two years up until January 2013 [6]

Mac Lochlainn has been a prominent supporter of the cause of Palestinian independence and statehood and he is the Secretary of the Oireachtas Friends of Palestine group of TDs and Senators. As Sinn Féin's Foreign Affairs spokesperson, he strongly supported Ireland's commitment to overseas aid as evidenced in the party position paper he oversaw in early 2012, "Honouring our Legacy: Keeping Ireland at the Heart of Global Justice".[7]

In June 2012, the Irish Independent newspaper alleged that Mac Lochlainn and his party colleague, Deputy Pearse Doherty had "diverted unspent travel and accommodation expenses towards hiring part-time party workers despite these expenses being supposed to be returned to the Oireachtas under rules introduced in 2010".[8] Both Deputies were subsequently found not to have broken any Oireachtas rules.[9][10]

In December 2012, Mac Lochlainn was suspended from the Dáil after he accused the Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett of "double standards and hypocrisy".[11][12]

In early 2013, he published a bill (The Reform of Judicial Appointments Procedures Bill 2013) seeking to end the system of political appointees being made judges in Ireland.[13]

At the 2016 general election, Mac Lochlainn ran as one of three Sinn Féin candidates in the new five-seater Donegal constituency. After a tight race for the final seat in the constituency, he lost narrowly to Thomas Pringle by 184 votes.[14]


As of 11 July 2013, this article is derived in whole or in part from Donegal Sinn Féin. The copyright holder has licensed the content in a manner that permits reuse under CC BY-SA 3.0 and GFDL. All relevant terms must be followed. The original text was at "Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD".

  1. "Mr. Pádraig Mac Lochlainn". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  2. "TD from Traveller background calls Fianna Fáil councillor's remarks racist". An Phoblacht. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  3. Derrig, Mick (14 February 2002). "New face on the block". An Phoblacht. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  4. "Pádraig Mac Lochlainn". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
  5. "Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD elected Chair of the Committee on Public Oversight and Petitions". Oireachtas. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  6. "British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly – Irish Members and Associates". Britishirish.org. 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  7. "Submission to the Review of the White Paper on Irish Aid" (PDF). Dochas. April 2012.
  8. Brennan, Michael (20 June 2012). "Original article in the Irish Independent". Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  9. "Oireachtas confirms Pearse Doherty did NOT breach expenses rules". TheJournal.ie. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  10. "Oireachtas officials confirm Doherty did not breach regulations". 28 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  11. "Dáil halted in penalty points row". The Irish Times. 12 December 2012.
  12. Sheahan, Fionnan (12 December 2012). "TD Joan Collins reported to Dail watchdog for naming journalist and rugby writer in penalty points row". Irish Independent. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  13. "Sinn Féin publishes bill to end 'political appointment' of judges". TheJournal.ie. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  14. "Donegal count: Independent Thomas Pringle takes final seat". The Irish Times. 28 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
Preceded by
Niall Blaney
(Fianna Fáil)
Sinn Féin Teachta Dála for Donegal North-East
Constituency abolished
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