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George Lee TD


Incumbent
Assumed office 
6 June 2009
Preceded by Séamus Brennan
Constituency Dublin South

Born 27 September 1962 (1962-09-27) (age 47)
Templeogue, Dublin
Nationality Irish
Political party Fine Gael
Spouse(s) Mary Lee
Children 2
Residence Cabinteely, Dublin
Alma mater University College Dublin,
London School of Economics
Occupation Journalist, Economist, Politician

George Lee (born 27 September 1962)[1] is an Irish Fine Gael politician. He is currently a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin South constituency.[2][3] Before entering politics, he was Economics Editor with RTÉ from 1996 to 2009.

Contents

Early and personal life

His father was a mechanic; Lee was the seventh in a family of eight children. The family lived in Templeogue, Dublin.[4] Lee attended Coláiste Éanna, a Christian Brothers' School in the Dublin suburb of Ballyroan. Lee is a graduate of University College Dublin and holds an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics where his specialist area was labour economics and unemployment.

He is married to Mary Lee, and has 2 children; he lives in Cabinteely. He famously travelled to work in RTÉ via Segway,[1] once giving it a test ride live on Tubridy Tonight.[5]

Career

Lee joined the civil service as an executive officer in the Central Statistics Office. Two years later he started at University College Dublin where he studied economics under distinguished academics as Brendan Walsh and Peter Neary.

Prior to his move into broadcasting, Lee was also a Senior Economist at Riada Stockbrokers. He also worked as Treasury Economist with FTI and as an economist with the Central Bank of Ireland.

He worked in RTÉ, the public broadcasting service of Ireland, from 1992 to 2009. He was appointed Economics Editor with RTÉ in 1996.[6] Lee was named Irish Journalist of the Year in 1998 after helping uncover a major tax evasion and overcharging scandal at National Irish Bank. He has devised, researched and presented several television series, including Moneybox, More To Do, and Winds of Change. He is thought of as an "economics guru".[7]

Before embarking on his political career, he filmed a four-part series based on the fall of the Berlin Wall in 2008. [8] It was aired on RTÉ One in November 2009.[9]

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Political Career

On 5 May 2009 on the News at One on RTÉ Radio 1, Lee announced that he was resigning as Economic Editor with RTÉ and announced his intention to seek the Fine Gael nomination for the Dublin South by-election in 2009.[10] An RTÉ statement said that Lee was on paid leave of absence for the duration of the campaign. Members of staff may take unpaid leave in order to stand for an electoral position but on this occasion RTÉ decided that Lee's service to the station merited continuation of his salary for the duration of the campaign. On 6 May 2009, Lee was chosen as the Fine Gael candidate for the Dublin South by-election. He was the only candidate for the nomination.[11]

On 6 June 2009 he was elected on the first count to represent Dublin South. He received over 53% of the 1st preference vote. In total he received 27,768 1st preference votes.[12][3] His RTÉ position was filled by Europe editor Sean Whelan,[13] but only as correspondent.[14] Instead, David Murphy was promoted to Business Editor.[15] Since elected he has been referred to as a "Celebrity TD".[16]

In an October 2009 poll, concerning support for a possible president in the 2011 Presidential Election conducted by the Sunday Independent, Lee came third, receiving 12% support, in front of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern among other high-profile politicians.[17]

On 13 January 2010, Lee highlighted the failure of EMPG the holding company for US publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and the potential impact on the Irish taxpayers given loans by Anglo Irish Bank to the investors in EMPG. Lee sees this as another pressing example for the urgent need to an investigation into the Irish banking crisis.[18 ]

Cultural references

George Lee was parodied in the 1990s comedy Bull Island, where he was seen "menacingly staring down the lens of a camera".[19] He has also been featured on RTÉ 2fm's Nob Nation.[20]

References

  1. ^ a b "From goggle box to ballot box". The Irish Times. 9 May 2009. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2009/0509/1224246181570.html. Retrieved 10 May 2009.  
  2. ^ "Mr. George Lee". Oireachtas Members Database. http://oireachtas.ie/members-hist/default.asp?housetype=0&HouseNum=30&MemberID=2267&ConstID=90. Retrieved 24 September 2009.  
  3. ^ a b "FG's Lee 'humbled' by landslide by-election win". The Irish Times. 6 June 2009. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0606/breaking1.htm. Retrieved 6 June 2009.  
  4. ^ "RTÉ article on George Lee in China". RTÉ Guide. 20 January 2008. http://www.rteguide.ie/2008/0120/staroftheday.html. Retrieved 21 February 2009.  
  5. ^ "Tubridy Tonight". RTÉ. 21 March 2009. http://www.rte.ie/tv/tubridytonight/20090321.html. Retrieved 21 March 2009.  
  6. ^ "RTÉ bio of George Lee". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. 2 June 2006. http://www.rte.ie/news/features/webchat/george_lee.html. Retrieved 21 February 2009.  
  7. ^ "Lise Hand: Portraitgate, Lisbon, abuse reports, floods and F-bombs -- it really was some year". Irish Independent. 24 December 2009. http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/lise-hand-portraitgate-lisbon-abuse-reports-floods-and-fbombs--it-really-was-some-year-1988236.html. Retrieved 24 December 2009.  
  8. ^ Gittens, Geraldine (22 October 2009). "Lee is back on RTE but just for a TV special". Evening Herald. http://www.herald.ie/national-news/city-news/lee-is-back-on-rte-but-just-for-a-tv-special-1921357.html. Retrieved 24 October 2009.  
  9. ^ "RTÉ Television Sales: Beyond the Berlin Wall". RTÉ. http://tvsales.rte.ie/programming/factual.htm#prog03. Retrieved 24 October 2009.  
  10. ^ "RTÉ's Lee to stand for FG in Dublin South". RTÉ News. 5 May 2009. http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0505/finegael.html. Retrieved 5 May 2009.  
  11. ^ "Parties select bye-election candidates". RTÉ News. 6 May 2009. http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0506/election.html. Retrieved 7 May 2009.  
  12. ^ "George Lee". ElectionsIreland.org. http://electionsireland.org/candidate.cfm?ID=9413. Retrieved 24 September 2009.  
  13. ^ Doyle, Kevin (21 October 2009). "Whelan to fill Lee's shoes in RTE rejig". Evening Herald. http://www.herald.ie/national-news/whelan-to-fill-lees-shoes-in-rte-rejig-1919769.html. Retrieved 22 October 2009.  
  14. ^ "Sean Whelan New RTÉ Economics Correspondent". IFTN. 22 October 2009. http://www.iftn.ie/broadcast/?act1=record&only=1&aid=73&rid=4282633&tpl=archnews&force=1. Retrieved 22 October 2009.  
  15. ^ "Sean Whelan appointed RTÉ Economics Correspondent". Inside Ireland.ie. October 21 2009. http://www.insideireland.ie/index.cfm/section/news/ext/seanwhelan001/category/1087. Retrieved 22 October 2009.  
  16. ^ O'Neill, Kate (9 October 2009). "FG TD George Lee to open 'Comer trade and craft fair'". Kilkenny Advertiser. http://www.advertiser.ie/kilkenny/article/17845. Retrieved 24 October 2009.  
  17. ^ Reilly, Jerome (11 October 2009). "Woman's place is still in the Aras -- poll". Sunday Independent. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/womans-place-is-still-in-the-aras--poll-1910429.html. Retrieved 24 October 2009.  
  18. ^ Quote of George Lee on EMPG failure>
  19. ^ "There's a new poster boy on the block". Evening Herald. 15 May 2009. http://www.herald.ie/lifestyle/home-garden/theres-a-new-poster-boy-on-the-block-1740177.html. Retrieved 26 July 2009.  
  20. ^ "Nob Nation 2 - The Recession Album". Hot Press. http://www.hotpress.com/archive/5088196.html. Retrieved 26 July 2009.  

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Séamus Brennan
(Fianna Fáil)
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Dublin South
2009–
Incumbent

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