Seán Sherlock

Seán Sherlock

Sherlock in 2015
Minister of State for Overseas Development Assistance, Trade Promotion and North South cooperation
In office
15 July 2014  6 May 2016
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Joe McHugh
Minister of State for Research and Innovation
In office
19 March 2011  15 July 2014
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Damien English
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
May 2007
Constituency Cork East
Personal details
Born (1972-12-06) 6 December 1972
Mallow, Cork, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Labour Party
Spouse(s) Máire Ní Ríordáin
Children 2
Alma mater University College Galway

Seán Sherlock (born 6 December 1972) is an Irish Labour Party politician. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for Cork East since May 2007, and was a Minister of State from March 2011 to May 2016.[1]

Early life

Born in Mallow, County Cork, Sherlock is the son of Joe Sherlock, then an Official Sinn Féin local councillor. He was educated locally at St. Patrick's boys' national school and the Patrician Academy before later attending the College of Commerce in Cork. Sherlock subsequently studied at University College Galway where he completed a degree in Economics and Politics.

Political career

Sherlock first became directly involved in politics when he served a six-month internship with MEP Proinsias De Rossa in his office in the European Parliament. Following the completion of his internship he was offered a full-time job working as an assistant to de Rossa.

In 2002 Sherlock served as election manager for his father in his attempt to win back a seat at the general election as a Labour Party candidate. The campaign was a successful one and Joe Sherlock returned to Dáil Éireann after a ten-year absence.

The abolition of the dual mandate in 2003 meant that Sherlock's father had to vacate his seats on Mallow Town Council and Cork County Council. Sherlock was chosen as his replacement and he was co-opted onto both councils that year. The following year he won both seats in his own right when he was successful at the local elections. Sherlock was then elected mayor of Mallow.

When Sherlock's father announced that he would not be contesting the 2007 general election, Sherlock was once again chosen as a replacement candidate. He contested the Cork East constituency for the Labour Party and was elected.[2] A Fianna Fáil-headed government returned to power once again. Sherlock was subsequently appointed Labour Party spokesperson on Agriculture and Food.

Sherlock retained his Dáil seat at the 2011 general election after topping the poll in Cork East. When the new coalition government was formed he was tipped for possible inclusion at the cabinet, however, he joined the junior ministerial ranks as Minister of State for Research and Innovation.[3]

In January 2012, Sherlock proposed legislation giving copyright holders the right to seek an injunction against copyright violators. A group called 'Stop SOPA Ireland" petitioned against the legislation. Comparisons have been made between these reforms and the Stop Online Piracy Act in the United States. Sherlock said these comparisons were "not based on fact".[4] According to the Irish government, the legislation is intended to close a loophole after a High Court case in 2010 where EMI sued UPC, an internet service provider, over illegal downloads. A denial-of-service attack was performed against government websites in protest over the changes.[5]

On 29 February 2012, Sherlock signed the legislation into law. He cited Ireland's "obligations under EU law”.[6][7] Subsequently, the legislation resulted in the blocking of The Pirate Bay in Ireland.[8]

Minister of State: 2014–2016

On 15 July 2014, he was appointed as Minister of State with responsibility for Overseas Development Assistance, Trade Promotion and North South cooperation at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.[9] Following the 2016 general election, Labour returned to opposition, much reduced in numbers. He remained as Minister of State in an acting capacity during prolonged talks on government formation, earning €23,391 in that time.[10]

See also


  1. "Mr. Seán Sherlock". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
  2. "Seán Sherlock". Retrieved 18 April 2009.
  3. "Kenny breaks election pledge by not cutting junior ministers". Irish Examiner. 11 March 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  4. Edwards, Elaine (26 January 2012). "Copyright 'piracy' measurepublished". The Irish Times. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  5. "Anti copyright hackers claim responsibility for government website attacks". Irish Independent. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  6. "Sherlock signs copyright amendment law". RTÉ News. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  7. Carbery, Genevieve (29 February 2012). "Internet copyright law signed". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  8. "Ireland's High Court orders six ISPs to block access to The Pirate Bay". Silicon Republic. 16 June 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  9. "Simon Harris among new Ministers of State". RTÉ News. 15 July 2014.
  10. McGrath, Meadhbh (6 May 2016). "Revealed: The salaries TDs pocketed over 10 weeks of government talks". Irish Independent.
Preceded by
Joe Sherlock
(Labour Party)
Labour Party Teachta Dála for Cork East
Political offices
New office Minister of State for Research and Innovation
Succeeded by
Damien English
Minister of State for Overseas Development Assistance,
Trade Promotion and North South cooperation

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