Bernard Durkan

Bernard J. Durkan (born 26 March 1945) is an Irish Fine Gael politician who is a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Kildare North constituency. He was first elected at the 1981 general election for the Kildare constituency, lost his seat in February 1982, was re-elected in November 1982, and has been re-elected at each election since then. While out of Dáil Éireann in 1982, he served as a Senator for the Agricultural Panel from May 1982 to November 1982.[1]

Bernard Durkan

Teachta Dála
Assumed office
June 1997
ConstituencyKildare North
In office
November 1982  June 1997
In office
June 1981  February 1982
In office
14 May 1982  23 November 1982
ConstituencyAgricultural Panel
Personal details
Born (1945-03-26) 26 March 1945
Swinford, County Mayo, Ireland
Political partyFine Gael
Spouse(s)Hilary Spence
Alma materUniversity College Dublin

He was born in Killasser, Swinford, County Mayo, and educated at St. John's, Carramore, County Mayo.

He was elected to Kildare County Council in 1976 and was a member until 1994, serving as chairman from 1986 to 1987. He was elected to Dáil Éireann for the Kildare constituency at the 1981 general election, but lost his seat at the February 1982 general election following the defeat of the Fine GaelLabour Party coalition. He was then elected as a member of the 16th Seanad by the Agricultural Panel.

Durkan regained his Dáil seat at the November 1982 general election, and was re-elected at the 1987, 1989, and 1992 general elections. When the Kildare constituency was divided, he was elected at the 1997 general election for the new constituency of Kildare North, and retained his seat at the 2002 and 2007 general elections. He also topped the poll in the 2011 general election.[2] He was re-elected at the 2016 general election, retaining his seat on the ninth and final count.

During his career as a member of Dáil Éireann, he has held several Front Bench portfolios in Fine Gael, including Health, Food, Trade and Industry, Insurance, Overseas Development Aid and Human Rights, and Communications and Natural Resources. He served as Minister of State for Social Welfare from 1994 to 1997.

He currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas on Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade and as a member of the Joint Committee on European Affairs. He has also previously acted as the chairman on the Oireachtas Committee of European Affairs and a member of the Eastern Health Board. He has also served as Fine Gael Chief Whip. In 2010, Durkan refused to defer the drawing of his ministerial pension while still being paid as a TD. He instead decided to donate this pension to charity.[3]


  1. "Bernard Durkan". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
  2. "Bernard Durkan". Retrieved 15 April 2009.
  3. "Revealed: 16 TDs who won't hand back pensions". Irish Independent. 24 April 2010.
Preceded by
Constituency redrawn
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Kildare
1981–Feb. 1982
Succeeded by
Gerry Brady
(Fianna Fáil)
Preceded by
Gerry Brady
(Fianna Fáil)
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Kildare
Nov. 1982–1997
Constituency abolished
New constituency Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Kildare North
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