Joan Collins (politician)

Joan Collins (born 4 June 1961) is an Irish Independents 4 Change politician who has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin South-Central constituency since the 2011 general election.[1]

Joan Collins

Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2011
ConstituencyDublin South-Central
Personal details
Born (1961-06-04) 4 June 1961
Drimnagh, Dublin, Ireland
Political partyIndependents 4 Change (since 2015)
Other political
United Left (2013–15)
People Before Profit (2007–13)
United Left Alliance
Socialist Party (1996–2004)
Labour Party (until 1989)
Spouse(s)Dermot Connolly

Local politics

A post office clerk by profession, Collins was elected to Dublin City Council at the 2004 local elections for the Crumlin-Kimmage local electoral area.[2] She was involved in the Anti-Bin Tax Campaign. She is a former member of the Socialist Party,[3] leaving with her partner, the former secretary of the party, due to a dispute with the party leadership.

Her Community and Workers Action Group joined the People Before Profit in 2007 and Collins was re-elected as a local councillor under their banner in 2009. While a Councillor Collins remained employed as a post office clerk.[4]

As a Councillor, Collins came to prominence on 27 January 2011, when she confronted Bertie Ahern on camera as he was being interviewed outside Leinster House, on the day Ahern retired from politics with a €150,000 a year pension as wages were being cut and taxes increased,[5][6] with Collins asking the former Taoiseach if he had "no shame" and "How dare you?" Ahern ignored her and dismissed her as someone who had approached him "to try get themselves on television and radio", though Collins later said she had not seen the television cameras.[4] She released a video in which she stated she had been annoyed by "the smug smile on his face and the way he was waffling on as if he hadn't got a care in the world".[7] A year later she said she did not regret her action against Ahern, and said that Fianna Fáil had not approached her about the incident since her election to the Dáil.[8]

National politics

Collins contested the 2011 general election for the United Left Alliance,[9] taking 12.9% of the first preference vote. She was elected on the final count without reaching the quota.[10][11] She said the election should have been a referendum on the Finance Bill.[12] In March 2011, due to the dual mandate rule, she was replaced on Dublin City Council by her party colleague Pat Dunne.[13]

Collins committed to facilitating the nomination of Senator David Norris for a place on the ballot paper ahead of the 2011 presidential election. She said that the people of Ireland should be allowed to decide Norris's suitability for the role.[14] On 20 September 2011, she confirmed she had signed the relevant papers.[15]

In December 2011, she described the proposed household charge being brought in as part of the 2012 Irish budget as a "Trojan Horse".[16] On 15 December 2011, she helped launch a nationwide campaign against the proposed household charge.[17] In February 2012, she accompanied a collection of housing groups to Mountrath, County Laois, who successfully prevented the deputy sheriff and gardaí from evicting a man from his home, using an interpretation of the state's constitution as the basis of their argument.[18][19][20] The man was ultimately evicted two weeks later, an action which Collins strongly condemned.[21]

In December 2012, Collins named crime journalist Paul Williams and sports star Ronan O'Gara under Dáil privilege as being among those to benefit from having their penalty points cancelled by gardaí. Justice Minister Alan Shatter called Collins's action a "total disgrace" and she was reported to a Leinster House watchdog called the Dáil Committee on Procedure and Privileges.[22][23]

In April 2013, along with Clare Daly, she founded a new political party called United Left.[24] As of December 2015, United Left is no longer on register of political parties.

At the 2016 general election, she stood as an Independents 4 Change candidate, and was elected.[25]


  1. "Joan Collins". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  2. "Joan Collins". Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  3. The Socialist Party, Joan Collins and the Bin Tax Battle An analysis by Dermot Connolly, ex Secretary of the Socialist Party
  4. Minihan, Mary (28 January 2011). "Ahern expresses regret over stadium". The Irish Times.
  5. "Former leader Bertie Ahern sparks furious row on his exit". The Belfast Telegraph. 28 January 2011. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012.
  6. Michael, Jason; Minihan, Mary (28 January 2011). "Ahern 'obsessed' over stadium". The Irish Times.
  7. Collins, Joan. "Why I tackled Ahern at the Dail" Archived 31 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine. PBP – ULA. 30 January 2011.
  8. "Do I regret accosting Bertie Ahern? Not at all, says first-time TD". The 22 February 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  9. ULA Candidates
  10. Minihan, Mary (28 February 2011). "Higgins pledges to build new party of left as five elected under ULA banner". The Irish Times.
  11. Mcgreevy, Ronan (26 February 2011). "Collins in contention in Dublin SC". The Irish Times.
  12. O'Halloran, Marie (4 February 2011). "PBP aims to be 'significant' force". The Irish Times.
  13. Cllr Pat Dunne People Before Profit by Andrew Nally, The Liberty, 3 May 2011.
  14. Nihill, Cían (19 September 2011). "Boost for Norris as left-wing TDs to support nomination". The Irish Times.
  15. "Fianna Fáil will not back Áras candidate". RTÉ News. 20 September 2011. Separately, People Before Profit TD Joan Collins and Independent Catherine Murphy confirmed that they have signed nomination papers for Independent Senator David Norris. Ms Collins said she had taken the decision on "democratic grounds" and that "the people should have the choice." Ms Murphy said that she had signed the papers "to ensure that (Senator Norris) can be judged not by fellow politicians but by the people of Ireland."
  16. O'Halloran, Marie; O'Regan, Michael (14 December 2011). "Kenny defends household charge". The Irish Times. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  17. "TDs would go to jail over household charge". RTÉ News. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  18. "Column: Ignore the conspiracy theories – the household charge must be paid". The 3 March 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  19. "I stopped the sheriff: Activists prevent eviction of man from Laois home". The 21 February 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  20. "Activists and politician stop the sheriff in Irish eviction attempt: Bank fails to repossess house in County Laois after local activists intervene". Irish Central. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  21. "Mountrath man gets evicted". Leinster Express. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  22. Brennan, Michael (12 December 2012). "TD 'abused privilege' by naming writer and rugby player over penalty points". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  23. Sheahan, Fionnan (12 December 2012). "TD Joan Collins reported to Dáil watchdog for naming journalist and rugby writer in penalty points row". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  24. O'Connell, Hugh (25 April 2013). "Two TDs setting up new United Left political party". Distilled Media. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  25. "Joan Collins". Election 2016. RTÉ.ie. February 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
Preceded by
Michael Mulcahy
(Fianna Fáil)
Teachta Dála for Dublin South-Central
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