Marian Harkin

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Marian Harkin
Marian Harkin 2012.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
In office
1 July 2014 – 24 May 2019
In office
1 July 2004 – 20 May 2014
Teachta Dála
In office
May 2002 – May 2007
Personal details
Born (1953-11-26) 26 November 1953 (age 66)
Sligo, Ireland
Political partyIndependent
Alma materUniversity College Dublin

Marian Harkin (born 26 November 1953) is a former Irish politician who served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 2004 to 2019. She previously served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Sligo–Leitrim constituency from 2002 to 2007.[1]

Early and family life[edit]

Harkin was born in Ballintogher, County Sligo in 1953. She is a graduate of University College Dublin, with a Bachelor of Science degree in geology. She worked as a teacher of mathematics in a secondary school in Sligo for 23 years.

Community activism[edit]

While living in Manorhamilton, Harkin became active in the voluntary and community sector and developed the view that people living in disadvantaged areas such as Connacht had to rely on their own initiative and energy to progress development of their region. Her work at local level led to her appointment to Developing the West Together, which evolved into the Council for the West, of which Harkin became chairperson.

Irish politics[edit]

She was elected to Dáil Éireann as an independent TD for the Sligo–Leitrim constituency at the 2002 general election, receiving the highest number of first preference votes in the constituency.

Member of the European Parliament, 2004–2019[edit]

At the 2004 European Parliament election, she was returned as a member of the European Parliament for the North-West constituency topping the poll and being elected on the fourth count.[2] She had previously contested the 1999 European Parliament election in the same constituency (then called Connacht–Ulster), but had narrowly failed to be elected, losing out to Dana Rosemary Scallon for the third seat in the constituency. However, in 2004, the position was reversed and Harkin was returned at Scallon's expense.

Harkin resigned from her Dáil seat at the 2007 general election to concentrate on her European seat.[3]

She was a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group (ALDE) in the European Parliament, which comprises 85 MEPs from 19 member states.[4] Harkin is a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the delegation for relations with the United States. She has been European Democratic Party Vice-President since December 2012. In addition, she serves as Vice-Chairwoman of the European Parliament Intergroup on Integrity (Transparency, Anti-Corruption and Organized Crime).[5] She is also a supporter of the MEP Heart Group, a group of parliamentarians who have an interest in promoting measures that will help reduce the burden of cardiovascular diseases (CVD).[6]

She was re-elected to the European Parliament at the 2009 European Parliament election topping the poll in her constituency. She was again re-elected at the 2014 European Parliament election, taking the fourth seat in the new Midlands-North-West constituency.

On 1 April 2019, she announced that she was not standing for re-election in the 2019 European Parliament election,[7] and the following January, she announced she was standing in the 2020 Irish general election.[8]


  1. ^ "Marian Harkin". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  2. ^ "Marian Harkin". Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  3. ^ "Independent TD Harkin to stand down". RTÉ News. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  4. ^ "Your MEPs: Marian Harkin". European Parliament. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  5. ^ Members of the European Parliament on Integrity (Transparency, Anti-Corruption and Organized Crime) European Parliament.
  6. ^ Supporters MEP Heart Group.
  7. ^ "Marian Harkin not to contest European Parliament elections". The Irish Times. 1 April 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Harkin to run in election as Independent candidate". Leitrim Observer. 13 January 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2020.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Gerry Reynolds
(Fine Gael)
Independent Teachta Dála for Sligo–Leitrim
Constituency abolished
European Parliament
Preceded by
Dana Rosemary Scallon
Member of the European Parliament for North-West
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of the European Parliament for Midlands–North-West
Succeeded by
Maria Walsh