April 2011 – April 2016
18 September 1960|
|Political party||Labour Party|
She is a journalist by profession. In 1995, O'Keeffe, then a World in Action journalist, was threatened with prison in Ireland for refusing to reveal her sources. She had investigated scandals within the Irish meat industry in two films in 1991. The investigation centred on the Goodman International group – involving tax fraud, misappropriation of beef and Larry Goodman's dealings with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, leading to the setting up of a Tribunal of Inquiry, known as the Beef Tribunal, which found that much of her criticism of the industry was substantiated. The Tribunal, though, demanded that she name her informants, and when she refused to do so, she was charged by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The case became a cause célèbre in Ireland, and, in January 1995, she faced trial for contempt of court but was cleared of the charge. She was honoured in the 1994 Freedom of Information Awards for her stand.
She was an unsuccessful candidate at the 2011 general election for the Sligo–North Leitrim constituency, polling 4,553 first preference votes (10.2%). She was also a candidate in the 2009 European Parliament election for the North-West constituency. Her candidacy in the 2011 general election was not helped by the fact that three former members of the Labour party had stood against her. She was elected to the 24th Seanad in April 2011 on the Agricultural Panel.
She was appointed whip of the Labour Senators in the Seanad. In May 2012 it was reported that she had the worst voting record amongst Labour Party Senators. A motion of no confidence was tabled by her fellow Senator John Whelan. This was withdrawn, though it is due to be tabled again if she remains as whip. It was reported in The Irish Times that "Ms O’Keeffe is considered by her critics to be too close to the leadership and inclined to play along with the official Labour Party line of accepting Fine Gael's proposal to abolish the Upper House."
At the 2016 general election, she contested the for the Sligo–Leitrim constituency. Her vote collapsed to 1,829 first preference votes, losing her right to re-claim expenses. She was not re-nominated to the Seanad.
- "Ms. Susan O'Keeffe". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
- Collins, Stephen (2011). Nealon's Guide to the 31st Dáil and 24th Seanad. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. p. 200. ISBN 9780717150595.
- "Seanad Éireann – Volume 141". Houses of the Oireachtas. 1 September 1994.
- "1994 Freedom of Information Awards". The Campaign for Freedom of Information. 27 February 1995.
- O'Toole, Fintan (26 March 2011). "To impunity and beyond: brazenness of tribunal's shamed is well founded". The Irish Times.
The beef tribunal, which reported in 1994, made a series of astonishing findings against the Goodman International group ... The answer, of course, was no: the only person to be prosecuted as a result of the beef tribunal was Susan O'Keeffe, the journalist who uncovered the scandal in the first place ... Larry Goodman suffered no real damage
- "Susan O'Keeffe to find EU battle a tough tas". Galway Advertiser. 2 April 2009.
- "Susan O'Keeffe". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
- "2011 general election: Sligo–North Leitrim". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
- "Counting continues in Seanad election". RTÉ News. 27 April 2011.
- "Labour Senators see red over whip's poor voting record". The Irish Times. 5 May 2012.
- "Labour leader says the party's whip in Seanad has his full support". The Irish Times. 5 May 2012.