Brian Hayes (politician)

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Brian Hayes
Minister Brian Hayes at Sneem River.JPG
Member of the European Parliament
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Constituency Dublin
Minister of State at the Department of Finance
In office
10 March 2011 – 23 May 2014
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Preceded by Martin Mansergh
Succeeded by Simon Harris
Leader of the Opposition in the Seanad
In office
21 July 2002 – 30 May 2007
Leader Enda Kenny
Preceded by Maurice Manning
Succeeded by Frances Fitzgerald
Leader of Fine Gael in the Seanad
In office
21 July 2002 – 30 May 2007
Leader Enda Kenny
Preceded by Maurice Manning
Succeeded by Frances Fitzgerald
Teachta Dála
In office
May 2007 – May 2014
In office
June 1997 – May 2002
Constituency Dublin South-West
In office
12 September 2002 – 20 May 2007
Constituency Cultural and Educational Panel
In office
9 December 1995 – 19 June 1997
Constituency Nominated by the Taoiseach
Personal details
Born Brian John Hayes
(1969-08-23) 23 August 1969 (age 49)
Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland
Political party  Irish:
Fine Gael
European People's Party
Spouse(s) Genievive Hayes (m. 2003)
Children 2
Education Garbally College
Alma mater

Brian John Hayes (born 23 August 1969) is an Irish politician who has served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Ireland since 2014. He is a member of Fine Gael, part of the European People's Party. He previously served as Minister of State at the Department of Finance from 2011 to 2014, Leader of the Opposition in the Seanad and Leader of Fine Gael in the Seanad from 2002 to 2007. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin South-West constituency from 1997 to 2002 and 2007 to 2014. He was a Senator from 1995 to 1997, upon being Nominated by the Taoiseach and from 2002 to 2007 for the Cultural and Educational Panel.[1]

Early life

Hayes was born in Dublin. He was educated at Garbally College, Ballinasloe, County Galway; St Patrick's College, Maynooth, from which he received a degree in history and sociology in 1991,[2] and Trinity College, Dublin. Formerly a secondary school teacher, he was a member of South Dublin County Council between 1995 and 2003.

Political career

Before joining Fine Gael Hayes had been a member of Democratic Left, a party which he joined because of the hardline anti-Provisional IRA and anti-Irish Republican policies of its leader Proinsias de Rossa.[3] He subsequently joined Fine Gael for similar reasons, this time inspired by the anti-Sinn Féin stance of that party's then leader, John Bruton.[3] In December 1995, he was Nominated by the Taoiseach, John Bruton, to the 20th Seanad Éireann, where he was appointed government spokesperson on the Environment. Hayes was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1997 general election for the Dublin South-West constituency. He was appointed Fine Gael spokesperson on Housing, House Prices and Urban Renewal.

In a reshuffle of the Fine Gael front bench in June 2000, Hayes was promoted as spokesperson on Northern Ireland. Between 2001 and 2002 he served as Fine Gael's spokesperson on Social and Community Affairs. Hayes lost his seat at the 2002 general election but was elected to Seanad Éireann, where he served as Fine Gael Seanad leader and spokesperson on Defence and Northern Ireland.

At the 2007 general election he was re-elected to the Dáil on the first count in the Dublin South-West constituency.[4] He was party spokesperson for Education and Science from 2007 to 2010.

On 19 August 2008, Hayes used a report in the Irish Independent to say that immigrant children should be "segregated" until their English language skills match those of native children.[5] Hayes's comments generated considerable debate in the days that followed.[6][7] The Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) described the idea put forward by Hayes as "discriminatory, inequitable and deeply flawed".[5] He later said sorry and spoke of his regret but insisted this "should not take away from the substance of what I said".[8][9]

Ministerial career (2011–14)

In June 2010, he supported Richard Bruton's leadership challenge to Enda Kenny. Following Kenny's victory in a motion of confidence, Hayes was not re-appointed to the front bench. In October 2010, he was appointed as party Deputy spokesperson on Finance with special responsibility for Public Expenditure. In March 2011, Brian Hayes was appointed by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny as Minister of State at the Department of Finance with responsibility for Public Service Reform and the Office of Public Works.

After sudden floods killed two people in October 2011, he claimed the response of local authorities was "not adequate".[10] In a newspaper article for the Sunday Independent in March 2012, one year after the Irish people voted to remove them from office, Hayes claimed Ireland still needed Fianna Fáil and questioned if their absence would be "in the interests of Irish democracy".[11]

Hayes publicly acknowledged that Ireland had suffered reputational damage following the death of Savita Halappanavar, the pregnant Indian woman who died after being denied an abortion at a Galway hospital.[12]

European Parliament

He was elected as the Fine Gael candidate for the Dublin constituency at the 2014 European Parliament election.[13] Hayes is the lead negotiator for the European People's Party (EPP) on the plan for a Pan-European Pension Product (PEPP).[14]


  1. ^ "Mr. Brian Hayes". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  2. ^ "NUIM Alumni Ball 2011". NUI Maynooth Alumni Office. 11 June 2011.
  3. ^ a b Exuberant Hayes tackles burning issue and gives thanks for the silent majority. The Irish Times. 18 February 2011.
  4. ^ "Brian Hayes". Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  5. ^ a b "FG calls for student segregation 'flawed'". RTÉ News. 19 August 2008.
  6. ^ "Fine Gael TD Brian Hayes caused uproar by calling for 'segregation' in schools". The Sunday Times. 24 August 2008.
  7. ^ "Anti-racism bodies react angrily to FG proposal". The Irish Examiner. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  8. ^ "Hayes says sorry for his 'ridiculous' segregation jibe". Evening Herald. August 2008.
  9. ^ "Hayes regrets 'segregation' remark". The Irish Times. 21 August 2008.
  10. ^ "Brian Hayes wants lessons learned from floods". RTÉ News. 26 October 2011.
  11. ^ "Watch out, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin is now moving in for the kill". Sunday Independent. 4 March 2012.
  12. ^ "Savita Halappanavar – Irish embassy protest over death". BBC News. 16 November 2012.
  13. ^ "Dublin seat shaping up to be the one to watch in the European elections". The Irish Times. 1 February 2014.
  14. ^ Fiona Reddan (3 October 2017). "Pan European pensions on sale in Ireland by 2019". The Irish Times. Retrieved 19 February 2018.

External links

  • Official website
  • Brian Hayes' page on the Fine Gael website
  • Brian Hayes' page on the VoteWatch website
  • European Parliament profile
Preceded by
Mervyn Taylor
(Labour Party)
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Dublin South-West
Succeeded by
Seán Crowe
(Sinn Féin)
Preceded by
Seán Crowe
(Sinn Féin)
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Dublin South-West
Succeeded by
Paul Murphy
European Parliament
Preceded by
Gay Mitchell
Member of the European Parliament for Dublin
Political offices
Preceded by
Martin Mansergh
Minister of State at the Department of Finance
Succeeded by
Simon Harris
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