John Paul Phelan

John Paul Phelan (born 27 September 1978) is an Irish Fine Gael politician who has served as Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform since June 2017. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Carlow–Kilkenny constituency since 2011. He was a Senator for the Labour Panel from 2002 to 2011.[1]

John Paul Phelan

Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform
Assumed office
20 June 2017
TaoiseachLeo Varadkar
Preceded byNew office
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2011
In office
12 September 2002  25 February 2011
ConstituencyAgricultural Panel
Personal details
Born (1978-09-27) 27 September 1978
Waterford, Ireland
Political partyFine Gael
Spouse(s)Claire McTernan (m. 2018)
Alma materWaterford Institute of Technology

Phelan attended national school in Listerlin, County Kilkenny, and Good Counsel College secondary school in New Ross before graduating from Waterford Institute of Technology with an Economics and Finance degree.[2] He was elected to Kilkenny County Council in 1999 for the Piltown local electoral area, the youngest person ever elected to the council.

He was elected in 2002 to Seanad Éireann for the Agricultural Panel, the youngest member of the 22nd Seanad, and was re-elected in 2007. He was the Fine Gael Seanad spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, having previously held the portfolio of Seanad spokesperson on Finance.

In the 2007 general election, he was beaten for the last seat by Mary White of the Green Party.[3] He was a candidate at the 2009 European Parliament election for the East constituency but was not elected.[3]

He was elected as a Fine Gael TD for the Carlow–Kilkenny constituency at the 2011 general election.

Phelan sits on the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Law and Defence. He is one of the Irish delegates sitting on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and is an Irish representative on the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. He was critical of the Government decision to change the rules regarding the Domiciliary Care Allowance its effect on families of children with Autism. On 10 November 2012, Phelan took part in the "Save our Services" protest march in Waterford.[4]

He called for a "No" vote in the 2018 Referendum on Abortion.[5] He has spearheaded legislation which may force political parties to fill 40% of their nominations with migrants, women and ethnic minorities in future elections.[6]


  1. "John Paul Phelan". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 1 April 2008.
  2. Collins, Stephen (2011). Nealon's Guide to the 31st Dáil and 24th Seanad. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. p. 23. ISBN 9780717150595.
  3. "John Paul Phelan". Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  4. "Fine Gael pair threaten to vote against hospital cuts". Irish Independent. 12 November 2012.
  5. Bardon, Sarah. "Cross-party group of politicians calls for No vote in referendum". Irish Times. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  6. "Quota system targets migrants, women and minorities". 10 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
Preceded by
Bobby Aylward
(Fianna Fáil)
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Carlow–Kilkenny
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