John Whelan is a journalist of 30 years based in Laois-Offaly and 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.
A native of Portlaoise, he now lives in the nearby village of Timahoe with his wife Grazyna. They have three children, Faith (26), Ricky(23) and Martyna (22).
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.
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.
A member of the NUJ since he joined the workforce at 17 years of age he went on to serve as Chairman of the Midlands Branch of the National Union of Journalists and was a member of the NUJ National Council.
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. He has recently published his first novel, ‘The Buddha of Ballyhuppahaun’, a satire strongly influenced by George Orwell’s Animal Farm and Jonathon Swift’s, Gulliver’s Travels.
Commenting on his decision to enter politics he said
"I don’t want to be another career politician. But I desperately want to do something about the mess we are in.
As a public representative for you and the communities of Laois-Offaly I pledge to put people first, as I have done as a journalist here over the past 30 years.
I know firsthand what it’s like to lose my job; see my kids emigrate and battle to hold on to our family home.Amid all the gloom we must focus on positive action. Bailing out reckless banks is not the right option, as we could instead prioritise investment in jobs; pursue real reform and fairness. I believe that Eamon Gilmore and the Labour Party share this vision."
Here is a selection of videos which feature speeches delivered by Senator Whelan in the Seanad.
Speaking on this issue of Wind Turbines
- Ireland South : Laois
- 087 2509663
John's Contact Details vCard
Senator John Whelan The Labour Party
- Work Address
- Seanad Eireann, Dublin
- Constituency Office - Bull Lane Portlaoise Co. Laois.
- Home Address
- Cremorgan, Timahoe
- Co. Laois.
- Mobile 087 2509663
- Constituency Office 05786 34047