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John J. McGuinness

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Title: John J. McGuinness  
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Subject: Billy Kelleher, Public Accounts Committee (Ireland), Members of the 29th Dáil, Mary Coughlan (politician), Éamon Ó Cuív
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John J. McGuinness

John McGuinness
McGuinness in 2006
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
June 1997
Constituency Carlow–Kilkenny
Personal details
Born (1955-03-15) 15 March 1955
Kilkenny, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Fianna Fáil
Spouse(s) Margaret Redmond
Children 4
Website .ie.johnmcguinnesswww

John J. McGuinness (born 15 March 1955) is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Carlow–Kilkenny constituency since 1997.[1] He served as Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with special responsibility for Trade and Commerce from June 2007 to April 2009.


  • Personal life 1
  • Political career 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Personal life

McGuinness was born in Kilkenny and educated in Kilkenny Christian Brothers Secondary School. He holds a Diploma in Business Management. He is married to Margaret Redmond and they have three sons and one daughter. His eldest son Andrew is a Fianna Fáil councillor in Kilkenny city and was elected Mayor on 16 June 2014.

Political career

He first entered local politics in 1979 when he won a seat on Kilkenny Borough Council and was a subsequent Mayor of the city from 1996 to 1997.[2] He was the third generation of his family to serve on this council. From 1991 until the abolition of the dual mandate in 2003, he was also member of Kilkenny County Council, where his father Michael McGuinness was the longest-serving councillor (1959–99).[3]

He was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil TD for the Carlow–Kilkenny constituency at the 1997 general election.[4] He was vice-chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee in the 29th Dáil and a member of the Joint Oireachtas Committees for European Affairs, Enterprise and Small Business, Justice, and Women's Rights in the 28th Dáil. In 2007 he was appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment for Trade and Commerce. He has subsequently revealed a testy relationship with his senior minister Mary Coughlan, and considerable disagreement with policy in the department.[5]

On 22 April 2009, as part of cost-cutting measures due to the Irish financial crisis, the Taoiseach Brian Cowen reduced the number of Ministers of State from 20 to 15. McGuinness was among the seven junior ministers who were not reappointed. On 24 April 2009, he criticised Coughlan and Cowen for their lack of leadership being given to the country. He said: "She's not equipped to deal with the complex issues of dealing with enterprise and business within the department. And neither is the department".[6][7] McGuinness' later rejected suggestions he campaigned to undermine Coughlan, when it was revealed that he had hired external PR advice in an effort to enhance his own profile as a Minister of State within the Department.[8]

In 2010, a political memoir that he co-wrote with Naoise Nunn, called The House Always Wins, was published by Gill & Macmillan.[9][10]

He is the Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Small Business and Regulatory Framework since April 2011.

In June 2013 he came under pressure to step down from his position as Public Accounts Committee chairman after it emerged that a St Patrick's Day ministerial trip to Seattle with his wife and one official cost the taxpayer almost €22,000.[11] Taoiseach Enda Kenny called remarks "damaging" that McGuinness's said that the state should pay for ministers' spouses to travel on some trade missions.[12]


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  2. ^ Nealon's Guide to the 30th Dáil & 23rd Seanad, Ed. Stephen Collins, Dublin, 2007
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External links

  • Official website
  • John McGuinness' page on the Fianna Fáil website
Preceded by
M. J. Nolan
(Fianna Fáil)
Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for Carlow–Kilkenny
Political offices
Preceded by
Michael Ahern
Minister of State for Trade and Commerce
Succeeded by
Billy Kelleher
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