Catherine Connolly

Catherine Connolly (born 12 July 1957) is an Irish Independent politician who has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Galway West constituency since the 2016 general election. She was appointed Chair of the Committee on the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands in April 2016.[1] She served as Mayor of Galway from 2004 to 2005.[2]

Catherine Connolly

Chair of the Committee on the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands
Assumed office
4 April 2016
Preceded byNew office
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2016
ConstituencyGalway West
Personal details
Catherine Mary Connolly

(1957-07-12) 12 July 1957
Galway, Ireland
Political partyIndependent
Other political
Labour Party (until 2006)
Spouse(s)Brian McEnery (m. 1992)
Alma mater

Political career

Connolly was first elected to Galway City Council in the city west local electoral area in June 1999 and then re-elected in the city south local electoral area in 2004.[3] In the same year she was elected Mayor of Galway. She speaks fluent Irish.[4] Her sister, Collette, is a Galway City Councillor, co-opted to replace her when she was elected a TD.

She resigned from the Labour Party in 2006, when she was denied her wish to run alongside now-President Michael D. Higgins in Galway West.[5] She contested the 2007 general election, polling just over 2,000 votes.[5]

She contested the 2011 general election again in Galway West,[6] where she lost out on the last seat to Fine Gael's Seán Kyne by only 17 votes. She sought a full recount,[7] which concluded after a total of four days of counting but did not change the outcome.[8]

She was elected to the Dáil for the Galway West constituency at the 2016 general election. Her sister, Collette Connolly, was co-opted to Galway City Council in her place. She voted for Richard Boyd Barrett for Taoiseach, when the 32nd Dáil first met.[9] At the 32nd Dáil's second meeting on 5 April 2016, she made her maiden speech in which she criticised the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Alan Kelly's handling of Ireland's homelessness crisis.[10]

Connolly sits on the Public Accounts Committee and is Chair of the Committee on the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands.

Connolly is a patron of the People's Movement.[11]

Personal life

Originally from Shantalla, Connolly has lived in the Claddagh since 1988, and is married with two children. A former barrister, she also previously worked as a Clinical Psychologist, with the Western Health Board in Ballinasloe, Galway and Connemara.


  1. "Catherine Connolly". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  2. "Connolly and Pringle join I4C in April 2016". Oireachtas Éireann/Kildarestreet. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  3. "Catherine Connolly". Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  4. "Galway can lead the State in voting for change this month". Galway Advertiser. 11 February 2016.
  5. Siggins, Lorna. "FF vulnerable while Labour exposed as Higgins bows out". 3 February 2011. The Irish Times. "The real threat to Nolan will come from dissident Labourites, principally councillor and barrister Catherine Connolly, who resigned in protest in 2006 when she was denied her wish to run alongside Higgins. Connolly subsequently polled just over 2,000 votes in 2007."
  6. "Galway West". Election 2011. RTÉ. Archived from the original on 28 February 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
  7. "Connolly granted full recount in Galway West". RTÉ. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
  8. Lorna Siggins (2 March 2011). "FG's Kyne wins final seat in Galway". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
  9. "Nomination of Taoiseach: 10 Mar 2016". Dáil debates. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  10. "Galway TD slams Minister Alan Kelly's arrogance over housing crisis". Connacht Tribune. 5 April 2016.
  11. Patrons The Peoples Movement,
Civic offices
Preceded by
Terry O'Flaherty
Mayor of Galway
Succeeded by
Brian Walsh
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