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Mary Lou McDonald

In office
June 2004 – June 2009
Constituency Dublin

Born 1 May 1969 (1969-05-01) (age 40)
Nationality Irish
Political party Sinn Féin
Alma mater Trinity College, Dublin,
University of Limerick,
Dublin City University

Mary Lou McDonald (Irish: Máire L. Ní Dhomhnaill) (born 1 May 1969 in Dublin) is the current Vice President of Sinn Féin. McDonald was a Member of the European Parliament representing the Dublin constituency from 2004–09.



Mary Lou McDonald was educated in Trinity College, Dublin, the University of Limerick and Dublin City University studying English Literature, European Integration Studies and Human Resource Management.[1] Her career to date has her involved in diverse roles, including consultant for the Irish Productivity Centre, Institute of European Affairs researcher and a trainer in the Partnership Unit of the Educational and Training Services Trust.[1]

Originally a member of Fianna Fáil, but left the party in opposition to its economic and nationalist policies. Her sister, Joanne, is a member of the dissident republican group éirígí.[2]

Dáil Éireann

McDonald has run for seats in the Dáil on a number of occasions. McDonald first ran for office when she unsuccessfully contested the Dublin West constituency for Sinn Féin at the 2002 general election polling 8.02% of first preference votes. She was an unsuccessful candidate in the Dublin Central constituency at the 2007 general election.[3]

European Parliament

In 2004 McDonald became Sinn Féin's first Member of the European Parliament in the Republic of Ireland when she was elected at the 2004 European Parliament election for the Dublin constituency, receiving over 60,000 first preference votes.[4] She served as one of two Sinn Féin MEPs (the other being Bairbre de Brún representing Northern Ireland). During her time in office she led the Sinn Féin "No" campaign against the Treaty of Lisbon, which was rejected in Ireland 2008. McDonald sat as a member of the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee, and as a substitute of the Civil Liberties Committee. For the 2009 European Parliament election, the number of seats for Dublin in the European Parliament were reduced from four to three. McDonald was in a tight race for the last seat against Fianna Fáil's Eoin Ryan and the Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins. McDonald lost her seat to the Socialist Party candidate, being eliminated at the fifth count. Her first preference vote had declined to nearly 48,000.[5]

Party activity

She is a member of the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle (party leadership), as of 2001,[6] and is the party's Vice President, replacing Pat Doherty following the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis on 22 February 2009.[7] Following the loss of her Dublin seat in the EP, she has indicated her intention to remain active in politics and as Vice President of Sinn Féin.


In September 2003, Mary Lou McDonald attracted criticism when she spoke at a rally in Dublin to commemorate Seán Russell, an IRA leader during World War II.[8][9][10][11]


  1. ^ a b "Mary Lou McDonald MEP Dublin". Sinn Féin Online. Retrieved 25 May 2008.  
  2. ^ Éirigí: New kids on the republican block
  3. ^ "Mary Lou McDonald". Retrieved 14 April 2009.  
  4. ^ "EU elections 2004 results – Dublin". Retrieved 14 April 2009.  
  5. ^ "Ryan loses out to Higgins in Dublin". RTÉ News. 8 June 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2008.  
  6. ^ "MEP profile". European Parliament. Retrieved 30 December 2009.  
  7. ^ "Ard Fheis 2009". Sinn Féin. Retrieved 23 February 2009.  
  8. ^ Cusack, Jim (6 June 2004). "SF's Nazi hero is stalking candidate Mary Lou". Irish Independent. Retrieved 25 May 2008. "SINN FEIN'S Mary Lou McDonald has been accused of "warped principles" for participating in a republican commemoration ceremony last year for a Nazi collaborator while standing as a candidate for the European Parliament."  
  9. ^ McDonald, Henry (16 January 2005). "This dastardly plot". The Observer.,6903,1391492,00.html. Retrieved 25 May 2008. "Because if they had really wanted to shine a light into this very dark corner of Irish republican history then the vandals would have been better protesting in Fairview Park, holding seminars to discuss the IRA/Nazi links in the 1940s and publicly challenging anyone, including the Sinn Fein MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald, who rushes to honour Russell as to why they feel it's alright to rally round a statue of one of Adolf Hitler's allies in World War Two."  
  10. ^ Colgan, Paul; Neil Callanan. "Profile: Prime time Shinner". The Sunday Business Post. Archived from the original on 14 March 2004. Retrieved 25 May 2008. "She encountered criticism after speaking at a commemoration for IRA volunteer Sean Russell last year."  
  11. ^ Myers, Kevin (16 January 2005). "There are real Nazi lovers here: the IRA". The Daily Telegraph.;sessionid=BUVQ1P50JSPKHQFIQMGSM5WAVCBQWJVC?xml=/opinion/2005/01/16/do1606.xml&sSheet=/portal/2005/01/16/ixportal.html. Retrieved 25 May 2008. "That she had delivered an encomium to a pro-Nazi stooge should have caused to her to be eaten alive by her rival candidates: imagine the consequences of a British politician rededicating herself to the cause of Oswald Mosley. Instead, the matter was never raised during the campaign that followed, lest it seem unseemly. She was duly elected to the European parliament, the only Euro-MP who retrospectively favours collaboration with the Nazis."  

External links

European Parliament
Preceded by
Patricia McKenna
(Green Party)
Member of the European Parliament for Dublin
Succeeded by
Joe Higgins
(Socialist Party)
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mitchel McLaughlin
Chairperson of Sinn Féin
Succeeded by
Declan Kearney
Preceded by
Pat Doherty
Vice-President of Sinn Féin

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