Avril Doyle

Avril Doyle (née Belton; born 18 April 1949) is an Irish former Fine Gael politician.[1]

Avril Doyle
Member of the European Parliament
In office
June 2004  June 2009
In office
June 1999  June 2004
Teachta Dála
In office
November 1982  June 1989
In office
November 1992  June 1997
In office
October 1989  December 1992
In office
September 1997  June 2002
ConstituencyAgricultural Panel
Personal details
Avril Belton

(1949-04-18) 18 April 1949
Dublin, Ireland
Political partyFine Gael
Alma materUniversity College Dublin

Early life

Avril Belton was born in Dublin; she was educated at Holy Child Killiney Secondary School, County Dublin. She went on to study at University College, Dublin (UCD). Her father Richard Belton was a Senator and her grandfather Patrick Belton was a Teachta Dála (TD).

Political career

In 1974, aged 25, she was elected to Wexford County Council and to Wexford Corporation; she was Mayor of Wexford town from 1975 to 1976.[2] She was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the November 1982 general election as a Fine Gael TD for the Wexford constituency. She lost her seat at the 1989 general election but was re-elected at the 1992 general election, again losing her seat at the 1997 general election to party colleague Michael D'Arcy. She was a member of the Seanad from 1989 to 1992 and from 1997 to 2002. She was elected as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) at the 1999 election and re-elected at the 2004 election.[3] She served as a Minister of State in the Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition governments of 1982–87 and 1994–97.

Doyle made news during a debate in the European Parliament in June 2008 after the rejection of the Treaty of Lisbon by Irish voters. A group of British Eurosceptic MEPs wore green hats and T-shirts, encouraging the EU to respect the Irish 'no' vote. However, many Irish MEPs saw this as self-serving and felt that there would be no Eurosceptic support for Irish opinion had the treaty been accepted; and Doyle was both lauded and criticised for the following comment, which is a reference to the forceful occupation of Ireland by Britain; "How the history books could have been written differently, if respect for the Irish vote from some of our British colleagues was always there."[4]

She announced on 7 January 2009 that she would not be seeking re-election to the European Parliament at the 2009 election.[5]

On 21 June 2011 she announced her intention to seek the Fine Gael party nomination to run for President of Ireland.[6] She withdrew from the nomination process in October 2011.[7]

See also


  1. "Avril Doyle". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  2. Kenny, Shane and Keane, Fergal, Irish Politics Now: 'This Week' Guide to the 25th Dáil, Dingle, Co. Kerry: Brandon/RTÉ, 1987, page 221
  3. "Avril Doyle". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  4. Avril Doyle's comments in European Parliament. RTÉ News. June 2008.
  5. "Avril Doyle declines to contest European election". The Irish Times. 7 January 2007.
  6. "Higgins wins Labour presidential nomination". RTÉ News. 19 October 2011.
  7. "Doyle withdraws from FG Presidential race". RTÉ News. 19 October 2011.
Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Bermingham
Minister of State at the Department of Finance
Succeeded by
Noel Treacy
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