Thomas Pringle (politician)

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Thomas Pringle

TD
Thomas Pringle politician.jpg
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2016
Constituency Donegal
In office
February 2011   February 2016
Constituency Donegal South-West
Personal details
Born (1967-08-11) 11 August 1967 (age 52)
Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Independent
Other political
affiliations
Sinn Féin (2004–07)
Alma mater
Website thomaspringle.ie

Thomas Pringle (born 11 August 1967) is an Irish Independent politician who has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Donegal constituency since the 2011 general election. [1] [2]

An independent or nonpartisan politician is a politician not affiliated with any political party. There are numerous reasons why someone may stand for office as an independent.

A TD is a member of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas. It is the equivalent of terms such as 'Member of Parliament' (MP) or 'Member of Congress' used in other countries. The official translation of the term is 'Deputy to the Dáil', although a more literal translation is "Assembly Delegate".

Donegal is a parliamentary constituency which is represented in Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Irish parliament or Oireachtas, since the 2016 general election. The constituency elects 5 deputies. The method of election is the single transferable vote form of proportional representation (PR-STV). It covers the current County Donegal with the exception of nine southern electoral divisions which are part of the neighbouring Sligo–Leitrim constituency.

Contents

Early life

Pringle was born into an Irish Republican family. His father, Peter, was a supporter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, and was convicted of the killing of two members of the Gardaí in 1980, a conviction that was subsequently declared as unsafe, although it has not been certified as a miscarriage of justice. [3] He is a patron of the People's Movement, [4] which campaigned against the Lisbon Treaty.

Irish republicanism is the political movement for the unity and independence of Ireland. The development of nationalist and democratic sentiment throughout Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was reflected in Ireland in the emergence of republicanism, in opposition to British rule. This followed hundreds of years of British conquest and Irish resistance through rebellion. Discrimination against Catholics and nonconformists, attempts by the British administration to suppress Irish culture, and the belief that Ireland was economically disadvantaged as a result of the Acts of Union were among the specific factors leading to such opposition.

Irish Republican Socialist Party Socialist party active in Ireland

The Irish Republican Socialist Party or IRSP is a republican socialist party active in Ireland. It is often referred to as the "political wing" of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) paramilitary group. and claims the legacy of socialist revolutionary James Connolly, who founded the Irish Socialist Republican Party in 1896 and was executed after the Easter Rising of 1916.

Peoples Movement (Ireland) organization

People's Movement is an Irish pressure group which campaigns on a number of issues such as protecting Irish neutrality and against greater European Union integration. The movement has also campaigned against the war on Iraq and the use of Shannon Airport by the US military.

Pringle was previously a member of Donegal County Council, having been elected as an independent councillor in 1999, and then as a Sinn Féin candidate in 2004. He left Sinn Féin in 2007, and retained his seat as an independent in 2009. [5]

Donegal County Council

Donegal County Council is the authority responsible for local government in County Donegal, Ireland. As a county council, it is governed by the Local Government Act 2001. The council is responsible for housing and community, roads and transportation, urban planning and development, amenity and culture, and environment. It has 37 elected members. Elections are held every five years and are by single transferable vote. The head of the council has the title of Cathaoirleach. The county administration is headed by a Chief Executive, Séamus Neely. The county town is Lifford.

The 1999 Irish local elections were held in all the counties, cities and towns of Ireland on 10 June 1999, on the same day as the European elections.

Sinn Féin (SF) is a left-wing Irish republican political party active in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Dáil Éireann (2011–present)

Pringle was elected as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Donegal South-West constituency at the 2011 general election, unseating the incumbent Tánaiste Mary Coughlan. [6]

Donegal South-West (Dáil constituency) former Dáil Éireann constituency (1981-2016)

Donegal South-West was a parliamentary constituency represented in Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Irish parliament or Oireachtas, from 1961 to 1969 and from 1981 to 2016. The constituency elected 3 deputies. The method of election was the single transferable vote form of proportional representation (PR-STV).

2011 Irish general election election

The 2011 Irish general election took place on Friday 25 February to elect 166 Teachtaí Dála across 43 constituencies to Dáil Éireann, the lower house of Ireland's parliament, the Oireachtas. The Dáil was dissolved and the general election called by President Mary McAleese on 1 February, at the request of Taoiseach Brian Cowen. The electorate was given the task of choosing the members of the 31st Dáil, who met on 9 March 2011 to nominate a Taoiseach and ratify the ministers of the Government of the 31st Dáil.

Tánaiste deputy prime minister of Ireland

The Tánaiste is the deputy head of the government of Ireland and thus holder of its second-most senior office. The Tánaiste is appointed by the President of Ireland on the advice of the Taoiseach. The current office holder is Simon Coveney, TD, who was appointed on 30 November 2017.

On 5 December 2011, Pringle delivered a televised address to the nation, representing the technical group of TDs in Dáil Éireann. He did so in response to Taoiseach Enda Kenny's Address to the nation of the previous evening. [7] Later that month, Pringle called on people for support in a campaign not to pay a new household charge brought in as part of the latest austerity budget, and announced that he would not register for the tax or pay it. [8] [9] [10]

In politics, a technical group or mixed group is a heterogenous parliamentary group composed of elected officials from political parties of differing ideologies who are not numerous enough to form groups on their own. They are formed for technical reasons so that members enjoy rights or benefits that would remain unavailable to them outside a formally recognised parliamentary group.

In February 2012, he published his expenses online. [11] He was elected leader of the Technical group in Dáil Éireann in March 2012. [12]

Dáil Éireann Lower house of the Oireachtas (Irish parliament)

Dáil Éireann is the lower house, and principal chamber, of the Oireachtas, which also includes the President of Ireland and Seanad Éireann. It currently consists of 158 members, known as Teachta Dála. TDs represent 40 constituencies, and are directly elected at least once every five years under the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote (STV). Its powers are similar to those of lower houses under many other bicameral parliamentary systems and it is by far the dominant branch of the Oireachtas. Subject to the limits imposed by the Constitution of Ireland, it has power to pass any law it wishes, and to nominate and remove the Taoiseach. Since 1922, it has met in Leinster House in Dublin.

In May 2012, Pringle brought an unsuccessful High Court challenge over the 2012 European Fiscal Compact referendum. [13] and the ESM Treaty which was appealed to the Supreme Court in July 2012. In July 2012, the Irish Supreme Court decided to refer three questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union arising out of his challenge to the European Stability Mechanism Treaty and doubts about the legality under the European treaties of the ESM. The CJEU held an oral hearing on the referral on 23 October 2012. The full court of 27 members sat in an historic sitting, it was the first time that the full court sat to hear a reference from a member state of the union and heard oral arguments from counsel for Pringle, Ireland, nine member states, the commission, the council, and the European Parliament. On 27 November 2012, the EU Court of Justice dismissed all arguments of Thomas Pringle. [14]

In the 2016 general election, after a re-drawing of constituency boundaries, Pringle campaigned in the new five-seater Donegal constituency. He was re-elected to the final seat by a margin of just 184 votes over Sinn Féin's Pádraig Mac Lochlainn. [15] During negotiations to form a government, Pringle said he was glad not to have signed up to the Independent Alliance, after that group entered talks with Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Pringle said that unless Kenny or Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin signed up to Right2Change, he would not support either as Taoiseach. [16]

As of April 2016, Pringle is a member of the Independents 4 Change technical group int the Dáil. [17]

In May 2016, Pringle introduced legislation designed to retain water in public ownership and avoid further privatisation. [18]

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References

  1. "Thomas Pringle". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  2. "Family dynasties held hostage to ruined political fortunes of Fianna Fáil". The Irish Times . 28 February 2011.
  3. "Peter Pringle is no death-row poster boy". Irish Examiner. 3 September 2016.
  4. "Patrons of the Peoples Movement". People's Movement. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  5. "Thomas Pringle". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
  6. "Donegal South-West". Election 2011. RTÉ News . Retrieved 1 March 2011.
  7. "TD Thomas Pringle's address to the nation in full". Donegal Daily. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  8. "Pringle will not pay household charge". RTÉ News . 14 December 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  9. "Higgins urges public to boycott 'unjust' €100 Household Charge". The Journal. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  10. O'Halloran, Marie; O'Regan, Michael (14 December 2011). "Kenny defends household charge". The Irish Times . Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  11. "Pringle publishes his expenses for all to see". Donegal Daily. 26 February 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  12. "Pringle takes top Dail post". Donegal Democrat . 27 March 2012.
  13. "Independent TD takes legal action over EU treaties". The Irish Times . 17 May 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  14. "ECJ gives the green light for the European Stability Mechanism, Pringle, C-370/12". Eurolitigation blog. 8 December 2012.
  15. "Donegal count: Independent Thomas Pringle takes final seat". The Irish Times . 28 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  16. "IA presents Kenny with 'Charter for Change'". RTÉ News . 4 March 2016.
  17. "Connolly and Pringle join I4C in April 2016". Kildarestreet.com. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  18. "Donegal TD introduces legislation to keep water in public ownership". Donegal Now. 17 May 2016.
Oireachtas
Preceded by
Mary Coughlan
(Fianna Fáil)
Independent Teachta Dála for Donegal South-West
2011–present
Incumbent