Dominic Hannigan

Dominic Hannigan (born 10 July 1965) is a former Irish Labour Party politician who served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Meath East constituency from 2011 to 2016. He was a Senator for the Labour Panel from 2007 to 2011.[1][2][3]

Dominic Hannigan
Teachta Dála
In office
February 2011  February 2016
ConstituencyMeath East
In office
24 July 2007  26 February 2011
ConstituencyIndustrial and Commercial Panel
Personal details
Born (1965-07-10) 10 July 1965
Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland
Political partyLabour Party
Alma mater

Early life

Hannigan was born in Drogheda, County Louth. He was educated at University College Dublin with a degree in Civil Engineering, at City University London with a Masters in Transport and at the University of London with a Masters in Finance.[4] He emigrated from Ireland in the 1980s to look for work.[5] Hannigan returned to Ireland and worked as a Civil engineer.

Political career

Early years: 2004–2007

Hannigan entered electoral politics when he was elected as an independent councillor to Meath County Council for the Slane electoral area at the 2004 local elections, serving as chairperson of the council's Planning and Economic Development Committee.[6] Hannigan subsequently joined the Labour Party in October 2004,[7] and first stood for Dáil Éireann at the 2005 Meath by-election, which saw the Labour vote increase by over 3,000 first preference votes since the 2002 general election. His next election was the 2007 general election, again missing out on the third seat, this time to Thomas Byrne.[8]

Seanad Éireann: 2007–2011

As part of an election pact between Labour and Sinn Féin for the 2007 elections to Seanad Éireann, Hannigan was elected on the first count to the Industrial and Commercial Panel of the Seanad.[9] In Seanad Éireann he was the Labour Party Whip and spokesperson on Commuter Issues, Environment and Local Government, Foreign Affairs and Defence.

He was one of the first members of the Oireachtas to support the candidacy of Eamon Gilmore, following the resignation of Pat Rabbitte as leader of the Labour Party on 23 August 2007. He subsequently became the chairman of Eamon Gilmore's leadership campaign to become leader.

In September 2007 he submitted proposals to the Department of Environment and Local Government for town councils for Ashbourne and the Meath coastal area, and called for the abolition of county managers.[10]

Hannigan said in 2011 that population growth during the Celtic Tiger years was more dramatic in Meath than elsewhere in Ireland and that this was having a profound effect on the county's education system.[11] He spoke in favour of a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed Slane bypass in February 2011.[12]

Dáil Éireann: 2011–2016

At the 2011 general election Hannigan topped the poll in Meath East.[13] In doing so Hannigan became one of the first two openly gay people to be elected to Dáil Éireann, a distinction he shares with Dublin North-West's John Lyons.[14] It was believed that at least one gay TD preceded them, but none had made their sexual orientation publicly known at this stage.[15]

The Meath Chronicle compared Hannigan to Speedy Gonzales as he "flitted at high speed from one spot to the next" on the campaign trail.[16] He was "followed by a large posse of journalists and camera crews" when party leader Eamon Gilmore joined him during the campaign.[17]

Hannigan was elected Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement in June 2011.

He was elected Chairman of the Joint Committee on EU Affairs in January 2012, following which he stepped down as Chairman of the Good Friday Agreement Committee.[18] In a television interview broadcast in April 2012,[19] he confirmed that the 99.8% state-owned bank Allied Irish Banks had paid one-and-a-half billion Euro to unsecured bank bondholders[20] for which neither the bank nor the Irish state had no legal liability.[21][22]

He lost his seat at the 2016 general election.[7]

Personal life

Hannigan is openly gay.[23]


  1. "Meet your 76 new TDs". RTÉ News. 9 March 2011.
  2. "Dominic Hannigan". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
  3. Lynch, Suzanne (26 February 2011). "Labour's Hannigan tops Meath East poll". The Irish Times. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  4. "About Dominic". Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  5. "Dominic Hannigan". Meath Chronicle. 23 February 2011.
  6. "Meath by-election". RTÉ News. Archived from the original on 14 March 2005. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  7. "Dominic Hannigan". Retrieved 18 February 2010.
  8. "Meath East: Hannigan pins his hopes on Breakfast Roll Man's support". Irish Independent. 11 February 2011.
  9. "No NUI candidate elected to Seanad yet". RTÉ News. 25 July 2007.
  10. "Senator proposes town councils for Ashbourne and the coast". Meath Chronicle. 29 September 2007.
  11. "Population boom having hugh effect on schools: Meath's education needs have changed dramatically, says Hannigan". Meath Chronicle. 3 February 2011.
  12. Keogh, Elaine (19 February 2011). "Labour Senator tells Slane bypass hearing of value for money". The Irish Times.
  13. Lynch, Suzanne (26 February 2011). "Labour's Hannigan tops Meath East poll". The Irish Times.
  14. "First openly gay TDs are proud to blaze a trail". Evening Herald. 1 March 2011.
  15. "Ireland elects first openly gay TD". February 2011. Archived from the original on 4 March 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011. At the time, the editor of the Gay Community News told reporters at the Irish Independent that there was, definitely, a gay TD in office but that this is somebody who has had a long career, of which being gay has not been a part.
  16. "No stopping Labour senator on flight from door to door". Meath Chronicle. 23 February 2011.
  17. "Gilmore gets a grilling from Dunboyne students". Meath Chronicle. 16 February 2011.
  18. "TheLabour Party – Hannigan Elected Chair of European Affairs Committee". 30 January 2012. Archived from the original on 23 February 2016.
  19. "Tonight with Vincent Browne". TV3. 26 April 2012 via YouTube.
  20. "AIBrepays €1.5bn to unsecured bondholders". 12 April 2012.
  21. "Credit Institutions (Eligible Liabilities Guarantee) Scheme". 2009. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  22. "Extension of the Eligible Liabilities Guarantee(ELG) Scheme and introduction of the option to make unguaranteed deposits". 16 November 2011. Archived from the original on 18 June 2013.
  23. "Where are all the gay politicians?". Irish Independent. 15 July 2006. Retrieved 21 August 2008.
Preceded by
Mary Wallace
(Fianna Fáil)
Labour Party Teachta Dála for Meath East
Succeeded by
Thomas Byrne
(Fianna Fáil)
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