February 2011 – February 2016
|Born||11 August 1967|
|Sinn Féin (2004–07)|
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.
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.
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.He is a patron of the People's Movement, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.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.
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.He was elected leader of the Technical group in Dáil Éireann in March 2012.
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.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.
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.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.
As of April 2016, Pringle is a member of the Independents 4 Change technical group int the Dáil.
In May 2016, Pringle introduced legislation designed to retain water in public ownership and avoid further privatisation.
The February 1982 Irish general election was held on 18 February 1982, three weeks after the dissolution of the Dáil on 27 January. The newly elected 166 members of the 23rd Dáil assembled at Leinster House on 9 March when a new Taoiseach and government were appointed.
Joe Higgins is an Irish former Socialist Party politician who served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin West constituency from 1997 to 2007 and from 2011 to 2016. He served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Dublin constituency from 2009 to 2011.
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Joe McHugh is an Irish Fine Gael politician who has served as Minister for Education and Skills since October 2018. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Donegal constituency since 2016, and previously from 2007 to 2016 for the Donegal North-East constituency. He previously served as Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands from 2017 to 2018, Minister of State for the Diaspora and Overseas Development from 2016 to 2017 and Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources from 2014 to 2016. He was a Senator for the Administrative Panel from 2002 and 2007.
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Samuel O'Flaherty was an Irish Sinn Féin politician. He first stood for election at the 1918 general election as a Sinn Féin candidate for the Donegal East constituency but was defeated by Edward Kelly of the Irish Parliamentary Party. He was elected unopposed as a Sinn Féin Teachta Dála (TD) to the 2nd Dáil at the 1921 elections for the Donegal constituency. He opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty and voted against it. He was re-elected unopposed as an anti-Treaty Sinn Féin TD at the 1922 general election but did not take his seat. He lost his seat at the 1923 general election.
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| Independent Teachta Dála for Donegal South-West |