Brendan Griffin (Kerry politician)

Brendan Griffin (born 14 March 1982) is an Irish Fine Gael politician who has served as Minister of State for Tourism and Sport since June 2017. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Kerry constituency since 2016, and previously from 2011 to 2016 for the Kerry South constituency.[1][2][3]

Brendan Griffin

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport
Assumed office
20 June 2017
TaoiseachLeo Varadkar
Preceded byPatrick O'Donovan
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2016
In office
February 2011  February 2016
ConstituencyKerry South
Personal details
Born (1982-03-14) 14 March 1982
Cork, Ireland
Political partyFine Gael
Spouse(s)Róisín Griffin (m. 2010)
Alma materNUI Galway


Griffin is a former member of Kerry County Council, representing the Dingle electoral area from 2009 to 2011. He was the subject of controversy for hiring his wife Róisín as his secretarial assistant and his brother Tommy Griffin as his parliamentary assistant. Both these positions were filled without interview and have salaries paid for by the state. In addition, Griffin helped another cousin, Matt Griffin, get his old council seat.[4] He takes half of his TD salary, at first giving the other half directly back to the exchequer and then in 2012 donating the other half of his salary to pay for a third teacher, in a small rural Kerry school.[5] Griffin attended NUI Galway.[6]

Election 2011

In 2011, Griffin was chosen as Fine Gael's second candidate in Kerry South, while Tom Sheahan was an incumbent TD. Despite unpromising opinion polls, Brendan Griffin topped the pole with 8,808 first preferences votes, over three thousand more than his colleague who poled 5,674. He was deemed elected to Dáil Éireann, after Count 5, soon followed by Tom Fleming and Michael Healy-Rae.

Election 2016

In The Tallyman's Campaign Handbook for 2016, author Noel Whelan stated that in the new five seater constituency, incumbent TDs Tom Fleming and Brendan Griffin would battle it out for the final seat, while Michael Healy-Rae, Jimmy Deenihan and Martin Ferris would be comfortably returned, as well as Fianna Fáil candidate John Brassil. Fleming later announced in February that he would not contest the upcoming general election, while Danny Healy-Rae added his name to the ticket, forming a vote strategy with his brother Michael.

Fine Gael had a very disappointing general election nationally, but Brendan Griffin improved his first-preference vote to 9,674, polling third. This was the highest vote achieved by any Fine Gael candidate in Munster, as well as being the largest vote a Young Fine Gael candidate secured in Ireland. He was returned to Dáil Éireann, on the 11th Count, after both his government colleagues Jimmy Deenihan and Labour's Arthur Spring were eliminated.

Calls for Taoiseach to step down

On 11 July 2016, Brendan Griffin did an interview with RTÉ News: Six One calling for Taoiseach Enda Kenny to step down as Leader of Fine Gael, before the Dáil returned in September. Griffin was not backed by a single TD and a vote of confidence was not held. Griffin argued that Fine Gael showed a lack of preparedness for an election in the scenario where it arose.


  1. "Brendan Griffin". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  2. Collins, Stephen (2011). Nealon's Guide to the 31st Dáil and 24th Seanad. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. p. 122. ISBN 9780717150595.
  3. "Brendan Griffin". Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  4. Kelly, Fiach (31 March 2011). "TD who cut salary in half gives out plum jobs to family members". Irish Independent.
  5. O'Connell, Hugh. "Fine Gael TD gives half of his salary to local school to employ teacher". The Journal. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  6. "Former NUI Galway Students, including Taoiseach, take senior roles in Cabinet". Spring 2011. Archived from the original on 9 May 2012.
Preceded by
Tom Sheahan
(Fine Gael)
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Kerry South
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
New constituency
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Kerry
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