Dick Roche

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Dick Roche
Minister of State for European Affairs
In office
14 June 2007 – 9 March 2011
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
Brian Cowen
Preceded by Noel Treacy
Succeeded by Lucinda Creighton
In office
19 June 2002 – 29 September 2004
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Noel Treacy
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
In office
29 September 2004 – 14 June 2007
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
Preceded by Martin Cullen
Succeeded by John Gormley
Teachta Dála
In office
June 1997 – February 2011
In office
February 1987 – November 1992
Constituency Wicklow
In office
12 December 1992 – 19 June 1997
Constituency Administrative Panel
Personal details
Richard Eoin Roche

(1947-03-30) 30 March 1947 (age 72)
Wexford, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Fianna Fáil
Spouse(s) Eleanor Griffin (m. 1976)
Children 3
Alma mater University College Dublin

Richard Eoin Roche (born 30 March 1947) is an Irish former Fianna Fáil politician who served as Minister of State for European Affairs from 2002 to 2004 and 2007 to 2011 and Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government from 2004 to 2007. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Wicklow constituency from 1987 to 1992 and 1997 to 2011. He was a Senator for the Administrative Panel from 1992 to 1997.[1]

Early and private life

Roche was born in Wexford. He was educated at Wexford Christian Brothers School and University College Dublin (UCD) where he received Bachelor of Commerce Degree and a master's degree in Public Administration.

Roche is married to Eleanor Griffin, and they have three sons and one daughter. They live in County Wicklow.

On 15 December 2008, he was held hostage during a robbery at the Druids Glen Marriott Hotel and Country Club in County Wicklow.[2][3]

Political career

Roche worked as a public servant at the Departments of Posts and Telegraphs, Transport and Power, Finance and at the Department of Economic Planning and Development. In 1978, he was appointed lecturer in Public Administration and Public Finance at UCD. In 1978, Roche became the first Irish Citizen to be awarded a United Nations Human Rights fellowship. He subsequently became a member of the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace and served as a time as Chairman of the Commission.

Roche began his political career in 1985, when he was elected to Wicklow County Council. Two years later, at the 1987 general election he was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil TD for the Wicklow constituency.[4]

Roche lost his seat at the 1992 general election, but was elected to Seanad Éireann. In the Irish Senate Roche introduced a Freedom of Information Bill-based closely on the Norwegian Freedom of Information legislation. He was returned to the 28th Dáil at the 1997 general election and remained a TD until 2011.

Following the 2002 general election Roche was appointed Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Foreign Affairs with special responsibility for European Affairs. In his role, effectively as Minister for Europe, he played a large role during Ireland's Presidency of the European Council in 2004. In 2004, Roche was conferred with the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana by the Government of Estonia for his support of Estonia's accession to the European Union.[5] In 2004, he became Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. He retained his seat at the 2007 general election, but on the formation of the new government, was the only member of the previous Cabinet to be demoted, being re-appointed as Minister of State for European Affairs.

His last act as Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government was the signing of an order that was to lead to work being resumed on the controversial M3 motorway near the Hill of Tara.[6] He remained Minister of State for European Affairs, during which Ireland conducted two referendums on the Treaty of Lisbon.

2011 election defeat

He lost his seat at the 2011 general election, polling only 5.5% of the vote which was down from the 15.8% he polled four years previously. Roche prolonged the count by requesting a recount when it was found that only three votes separated him and his Fianna Fáil running mate Pat Fitzgerald, an action which was criticised by some other candidates including Fitzgerald[citation needed], who also accepted that there wouldn't be a seat for Fianna Fáil.[7] He was not present at the announcement of his elimination[citation needed] which was greeted by cheering and applause from a number of people at the count centre.[8]


  1. ^ "Mr. Dick Roche". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  2. ^ "Roche held at gunpoint during Co Wicklow hotel robbery". The Irish Times. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  3. ^ "Minister held at gunpoint during hotel raid". RTÉ News. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  4. ^ "Dick Roche". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  5. ^ "Estonian president hands over decorations". Estonian Review. 29 Feb 2004. Archived from the original on 2012-06-08. Retrieved 10 Sep 2011.
  6. ^ "Roche approves resumption of work at Tara". RTÉ News. 14 June 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2007.
  7. ^ "Dick Roche eliminated after recount". The Irish Times. 28 February 2011.
  8. ^ http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/elections/latest-news/loud-applause-as-roche-eliminated-after-vote-challenge-26709446.html
Preceded by
Godfrey Timmins
(Fine Gael)
Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for Wicklow
Succeeded by
Constituency redrawn
Preceded by
Liam Kavanagh
(Labour Party)
Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for Wicklow
Succeeded by
Simon Harris
(Fine Gael)
Political offices
New office Minister of State for European Affairs
Succeeded by
Noel Treacy
Preceded by
Martin Cullen
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Succeeded by
John Gormley
Preceded by
Noel Treacy
Minister of State for European Affairs
Succeeded by
Lucinda Creighton
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