Elected as a Labour Party TD for Dublin North East in the 2011 General Election, I now sit on the Oireachtas Commitee for Transport and Communications and also sit on the Oireachtas Committee for Justice, Defence and Equality and the Committee for Public Service Oversight and Petitions. I previously represented Dublin North East as a Labour Party TD in Dáil Éireann from 1992 to 1997 and acted during that period as Chairperson of the Social Affairs Committee and as a member of the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation dealing with the peace process in Northern Ireland.
Educated at Garbally College, Ballinasloe, I became involved in community activity when I came to live in Raheny in 1969 through participation in the local residents' association and as a voluntary worker and later a director with the Raheny and District Credit Union.
I was first elected to Dublin City Council representing Labour in the Raheny area from 1979 when I won an extra seat for the party. From 2009 until my election to Dáil Éireann in 2011, I was a Councillor for the Donaghmede Electoral Area.
As Lord Mayor of Dublin during 1991/1992 I played a leading role in Dublin’s year as European City of Culture; the launch of Temple Bar as a tourist centre for Dublin; and the celebration of Trinity College Dublin Quatercentenary, when I received an honorary degree from the college.
I am a strong proponent of reaching out to, and working with local communities. Prior to my election to the Dáil in 2011, I was Chairperson of the North Central Area Committee on Dublin City Council. I am, along with my Labour Councillor colleagues on Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council, dealing with the issue of the unfinished estates, and infrastructure, in the North Fringe area. I will now continue working on this from Dáil Éireann.