John Whelan

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A native of Portlaoise, John now lives in the nearby village of Timahoe with his wife Grazyna. They have three adult children. He grew up and went to school  in Monasterevin, as his father was stationed in the Curragh.

John is himself one of a family of seven, and his late father was a staunch community activist and member of the Defence Forces who served with the UN in the Congo.

John Whelan  has worked as Editor of the Leinster Express in Portlaoise, the Offaly Express in Tullamore, Leinster Leader in Naas and as Group Managing Editor of the now defunct Voice group of newspapers. He has been a long time commentator on current affairs from the midlands for the national media.

He has regularly been referred to as a courageous and outspoken journalist constantly highlighting issues of community concern such as the lack of industrial investment, poor planning, rural decline, shortcomings within the health service and education where hundreds of children are still forced to go to school in prefabs and draw lots for school places in Tullamore and Portlaoise.

He is a keen supporter of the GAA and has actively involved over the years in local soccer and basketball clubs as well as a founding member of the Laois Surf Club. He is also a founder of the Portlaoise Jazz Festival, the Mountmellick Mardi Gras and the Laois Arts Festival.

Since being elected a Senator in 2011 John has tried to work hard for you, your family and our community. He has also listened and responded to your concerns and tackle the challenges facing families and our constituency.

At all times John has endeavoured to put people first, ahead of any personal, party or political interest. Acting honestly and independently in the best interests of others on a wide range of social, economic, educational and environmental issues.

 He has spoken out and spoken up on your behalf without fear or favour regardless of popularity or political consequences.

Here is a selection of videos which feature speeches delivered by Senator Whelan in the Seanad.

- speaking in relation to working conditions and the safety of prison service personnel

 

-  calling for a review of the role of the State Claims Agency

 

speaking on the issue of the School Meals Programme