Mattie McGrath

Matthew McGrath (born 1 September 1958) is an Irish independent politician and a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Tipperary constituency since being elected at the 2007 general election.[1][2]

Mattie McGrath

Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2016
In office
May 2007  February 2016
ConstituencyTipperary South
Personal details
Matthew McGrath

(1958-09-01) 1 September 1958
Newcastle, County Tipperary, Ireland
Political partyIndependent
Other political
Fianna Fáil (until 2011)
Spouse(s)Margaret Sherlock (m. 1987)
Alma materUniversity College Cork

In 2011, he left Fianna Fáil and has contested elections as an independent candidate since.

Education and political career

McGrath was educated at St. Joseph's College, Cahir; Kildalton Agricultural College, County Kilkenny and University College Cork. He was a member of South Tipperary County Council from 1999 to 2007, and served as chairperson of the council from 2004 to 2005.

McGrath was found not guilty of assault of a teenager in south Tipperary following a trial in 2008.[3][4] McGrath made a complaint to the Garda Ombudsman's office in relation to the handling of the investigation.[5]

In October 2009, McGrath criticised the proposal by Noel Dempsey to lower the legal level of alcohol in drivers, claiming that for some people a small amount of alcohol made them less nervous behind the wheel, though he said he didn't condone drunk driving.[6][7] His comments were criticised by Road Safety Authority chairman Gay Byrne and the Automobile Association.[6][7]

In June 2010, McGrath accused Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government John Gormley of the Green Party of bullying Fianna Fáil over the bill to ban stag hunting, which was passed in the Dáil on 29 June 2010. Gormley said the bill was a part of the renewed programme for government and that it was a relatively minor piece of legislation, which should not have taken up so much Dáil time. McGrath voted against the bill and lost the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party whip as a result.[8] He explained he was independent minded and would not be silenced by anybody.[9] He further qualified his support for the government in September 2010.[10]

On 25 January 2011, McGrath announced that he was leaving the Fianna Fáil party and would contest the 2011 general election as an independent candidate.[11] He denied that he was cynically resigning from the party in an attempt to save his own Dáil seat, saying that he had run out of “final straws” with Fianna Fáil. He also said that widespread unemployment, pay cuts, negative equity, the recent price hike at health insurer VHI and the recent leadership debacle had forced his hand.[12]

At the election on 25 February, McGrath secured his seat on the fifth count, having polled 14.7 per cent of the first preferences, defeating a challenge from Labour's Senator Phil Prendergast.[13][14] He is a member of the Rural Independents Technical group in the Dáil.

McGrath is a pro-life advocate. He supported the "No" side in the 2018 abortion referendum.[15] In November 2018 he supported amendments to the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill which would require pain relief to the foetus during termination, which were subsequently defeated.[16]


  1. "Mattie McGrath". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  2. "Election 2007: Fianna Fáil takes final seat". RTÉ News. 26 May 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
  3. "McGrath found not guilty of assault". RTÉ News. 25 November 2008.
  4. "Fianna Fáil TD found not guilty of assaulting teenager". Irish Independent. 25 November 2008.
  5. Hurst, Greg (30 November 2008). "Profile: Mattie McGrath". The Times (UK). London.
  6. Senan Moloney (27 October 2009). "One drink helps some drivers: TD". Irish Independent. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
  7. Jones, Sam (27 October 2009). "Irish politician claims drink relaxes nervous drivers". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
  8. "No Green Party bullying over Bill - Gormley". RTÉ News. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  9. "McGrath views himself as independent minded". RTÉ News. 3 July 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
  10. "McGrath in warning to Govt over support". RTÉ News. 25 September 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  11. "Mattie McGrath to run as Independent". RTÉ News. 25 January 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  12. Carroll, Steven (25 January 2011). "Mattie McGrath to run as independent". The Irish Times. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  13. "Mattie McGrath". Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  14. O'Regan, Michael (28 February 2011). "Several surprises and a few close calls before 12 candidates elected". The Irish Times. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
  15. 2018 abortion campaign
  16. Conneely, Ailbhe (2018-11-07). "Anti-abortion TDs labelled 'misogynistic' at committee". Retrieved 2018-11-15.
Preceded by
Noel Davern
(Fianna Fáil)
Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for Tipperary South
Succeeded by
as Independent TD
Preceded by
as Fianna Fáil TD
Independent Teachta Dála for Tipperary South
Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
New constituency Independent Teachta Dála for Tipperary
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