Joe O'Brien (politician)

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Joe O'Brien

Joe O'Brien TD, 2019.jpg
O'Brien in 2020
Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development
Assumed office
1 July 2020
TaoiseachMicheál Martin
Preceded bySeán Canney
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
November 2019
ConstituencyDublin Fingal
Personal details
BornCork, Ireland
NationalityIrish
Political partyGreen Party
Websitejoefingalgreen.com

Joe O'Brien is an Irish Green Party politician who has served as Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development with special responsibility for Community Development and Charities since July 2020. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin Fingal constituency since 2019.[1][2]

Background[edit]

O'Brien was born in Cork, but is a native of Grenagh, County Cork.[3] O'Brien graduated from University College Cork with a degree in French and Economics. After his studies, he moved to Dublin, where he became an advocate for inclusion and migrant rights. He has worked for the Immigrant Council of Ireland as well as Crosscare, a social care agency created by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, which is one of the largest providers of services to the homeless in Dublin city.[3]

As an observer with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), an international programme coordinated by the World Council of Churches, O'Brien worked in the Bethlehem area for three months in 2009.[4] In this role, he monitored checkpoints of the Israeli Defence Forces and supported local Palestinian and Israeli peace groups.[5] In a submission to the Oireachtas Joint Committee On Foreign Affairs And Trade in 2012, he set out the EAPPI's position in advocating a ban on the sale of Israeli products produced in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.[4]

Politics[edit]

O'Brien was a member of Fingal County Council from May 2019 to November 2019, representing the Balbriggan local electoral area.[6]

He was elected to the Dáil in a by-election in November 2019,[2] and retained his seat in the 2020 general election.[7] During the 2020 election campaign, O'Brien was listed (among other candidates) as a supporter of the Oireachtas Committee on Health's recommendations to address foetal anti-convulsant syndrome,[8] of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign's proposal to prohibit the import of goods from "illegal settlements in Palestine" and to the right to free speech and non-violent activism,[9] and of The Wheel's "Stronger Communities, Stronger Ireland" manifesto for charities and voluntary organisations.[10]

Following the formation of a coalition government in late June 2020, O'Brien was appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development with special responsibility for Community Development and Charities.[7][11]

In July 2020, O'Brien abstained from voting for the Government's Residential Tenancies and Valuation Bill, and was sanctioned by Green Party leader Eamon Ryan by having his speaking rights withdrawn for two months.[12][13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Joe O'Brien". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b "SF, FF and Greens clinch Dáil seats with count complete". RTÉ News. 30 November 2019. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Who is new Green Party TD Joe O'Brien". independent.ie. Independent News & Media. 1 December 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Joint Committee On Foreign Affairs And Trade - Debate". Oireachtas.ie. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2020. I was placed in the Bethlehem area for three months in 2009 [..] Observers are deployed to offer protection through non-violent presence, monitor and report violations of human rights and international humanitarian law [..] We also ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to initiate cross-departmental measures to start us off on the path towards getting illegal settlement products off the Irish market.
  5. ^ "Palestinian human rights trip for Skerries man Joe". independent.ie. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2020. The observers will carry out duties such as monitoring Israeli army checkpoints that Palestinians need to pass through [..and..] supporting local Palestinian and Israeli peace groups
  6. ^ O'Halloran, Marie. "Fingal County Council results: Greens gain three seats as 20-year-old student is elected". The Irish Times. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Explainer: Who are the new junior ministers and what jobs did they get?". independent.ie. Independent News & Media. 1 July 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  8. ^ "#GE2020 - Candidates who have pledged to work on Epilepsy issues". epilepsy.ie. Epilepsy Ireland. 7 February 2020. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Let's make Palestine an election issue: #PalestinePledges for #GE2020". ipsc.ie. Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign. 20 January 2020. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Candidates who have signed our manifesto pledge". wheel.ie. The Wheel. 21 January 2020. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  11. ^ "These are the 17 new junior ministers completing the government". irishexaminer.com. Irish Examiner. 1 July 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  12. ^ Bray, Jennifer; McGee, Harry (30 July 2020). "Greens shaken as Joe O'Brien abstains and Hourigan votes against Government". The Irish Times. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  13. ^ "Green Party sanctions O'Brien, Hourigan over Dáil vote". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. 31 July 2020. Retrieved 31 July 2020.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Seán Canney
Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development
2020–present
Incumbent