Josepha Madigan

Josepha Madigan is an Irish Fine Gael politician, solicitor, mediator and author who has served as Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht since November 2017. She has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin Rathdown constituency since 2016.[1] She previously served as Chair of the Committee on Budgetary Oversight from July 2017 to November 2017.

Josepha Madigan

Madigan in 2016
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Assumed office
30 November 2017
TaoiseachLeo Varadkar
Preceded byHeather Humphreys
Chair of the Committee on Budgetary Oversight
In office
8 July 2016  30 November 2017
Preceded byJohn Paul Phelan
Succeeded byColm Brophy
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2016
ConstituencyDublin Rathdown
Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Councillor
In office
May 2014  February 2016
Personal details
BornDublin, Ireland
Political partyFine Gael
Spouse(s)Finbarr Hayes (m. 2002)
EducationMount Anville
Alma materTrinity College Dublin

Early and personal life

From Dublin,[2][3] she attended Mount Anville Secondary School and Trinity College Dublin. She is married to Finbarr Hayes, and they have 2 children. Her father, Paddy Madigan, was a Fianna Fáil councillor in Dublin.[4][5] She and her family live in Mount Merrion.



Madigan is a qualified solicitor, who practised family law for 20 years, prior to her election to Dáil Éireann. She is also certified as a mediator by the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland and is a previous Council member of the MII. She is a former Specialist Liaison Officer for Family Mediation in the MII.[6]


Madigan is the author of the first book in Ireland on mediation: "Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Ireland, a handbook for family lawyers and their clients" (Jordan Publishing, 2012). She has also self-published a novel called Negligent Behaviour.[7]


Madigan was elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2016 general election, as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin Rathdown constituency, beating sitting Fine Gael TD Alan Shatter by nearly 1,000 votes. She was appointed Chair of the Committee on Budgetary Oversight in July 2017. She had been a member of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council from 2014 to 2016.[8][9]

Madigan issued a leaflet in 2014 claimed that providing accommodation for Travellers in her constituency would be "a waste of valuable resources". When asked about this later, Madigan claimed "Some people won't want to live beside people in halting sites [...] there might be more crime, that there might be anti-social behaviour".[10][11]

Madigan was three weeks a TD, when she was asked to participate in the 2016 government formation talks. She is an active member of the Public Accounts Committee. She has also brought forward a private member's bill to reduce the waiting time for divorce in Ireland from four years to two.

On 30 November 2017, Madigan was appointed to the cabinet as Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, in a reshuffle following the resignation of the Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald.[12]

On 29 March 2018, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar appointed Madigan as the coordinator for the Fine Gael Yes campaign in the Referendum to Repeal the Eighth Amendment.[13]

In 2019, Madigan received widespread coverage for her role in the personal injury legal claim of Fine Gael politician, Maria Bailey.[14][15][16] It was alleged that Madigan's family law legal practice, Madigan Solicitors, advised Bailey on her claim, however, Madigan refused to make any comments on this citing client-solicitor confidentiality.[15][17] In July 2019, an internal unpublished Fine Gael probe into the affair cleared Madigan of any wrongdoing in regard to the claim.[18][19] In late July 2019, the Irish Independent reported that "it is now known that she advised Ms Bailey in the early stages of the claim".[20] It was also reported that Madigan's firm would earn Euro 11,500 in fees if the Maria Baily case had been successful.[21]


  1. "Josepha Madigan". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  3. "About Josepha Madigan". Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  4. "What you need to know about the new Culture Minister". RTÉ News. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  5. "Josepha Madigan, the new face of Fine Gael". 30 September 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  6. "Mediators' Institute congratulates mediator on election to Dáil". Irish Legal News. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  7. "Profile: Josepha Madigan (FG)". The Irish Times. 28 February 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  8. "Election 2016: Josepha Madigan". RTÉ News. 27 February 2016.
  9. "Josepha Madigan". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  10. McQuinn, Cormac (3 December 2017). "New Minister Madigan insists she is 'absolutely not anti-Traveller' and that 2014 newsletter contents were 'widely misrepresented'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  11. "Josepha Madigan: 'Why I'm standing over my Traveller site views'". Sunday Independent. 6 December 2015.
  12. "Taoiseach names Simon Coveney as new Tánaiste". RTÉ News. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  13. McQuinn, Cormac (5 April 2018). "'My support for abortion is not at odds with my faith' - Madigan". Irish Independent. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  14. Rory Carroll (28 May 2019). "Voters cry foul over politician's fall from swing in Dublin bar". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 July 2019. More details emerged. Three weeks after the fall Bailey competed in a 10km run. She hired the law firm of a government minister, Josepha Madigan, to pursue the case. The claim omitted mention of her holding bottles while on the swing.
  15. Fiachra Ó Cionnaith (25 May 2019). "Josepha Madigan says TD's swing compensation case 'nothing to do with me'". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  16. Hugh O'Connell (26 July 2019). "Questions for Madigan as FG struggles with Bailey saga". Irish Independent. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  17. Jack Horgan-Jones (24 July 2019). "Josepha Madigan needs to clarify her involvement in Maria Bailey case, says Martin". Irish Times. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  18. "Maria Bailey: Swing fall case TD demoted by Leo Varadkar". BBC News. 23 July 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019. Mr Varadkar said that while Ms Madigan had given her colleague initial legal advice, the case was passed on to another member of her legal firm who told her on a number of occasions that while she had a "statable" case, a finding of contributory negligence against her was also likely.
  19. "Josepha Madigan 'is cleared of wrongdoing' in probe over Maria Bailey swing fall case". Irish Independent. 19 July 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  20. Cormac MacQuinn (27 July 2019). "Profile: Rise from councillor to Cabinet in two years". Irish Independent. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  21. Cormac McQuinn (27 July 2019). "Madigan's family's law firm in line for €11,500 if Bailey case was won". Irish Independent. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
Preceded by
Heather Humphreys
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
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