I entered politics in 2004 when I ran for the European Parliament and was successfully elected as a member of the Fine Gael party.Â Before that I was a journalist working for the Irish Independent and RTĂ‰.Â In June 2009 I was re-elected as an MEP as a member of the Fine Gael party.
I serve on the European Parliamentâ€™s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee; the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, and on the Petitions Committee.
In the 2004 – 2009 legislature I chaired European Parliament Committee of Inquiry into the demise of Equitable Life, where thousands of pensioners lost out on their investments.
As a member of Inter-Party Groups on Disability and Childrenâ€™s Rights, I also serve on the European Parliament’s Delegations for relations with Australia and New Zealand and the Delegation for relations with the People’s Republic of China.
I have great interest in and am very active on agriculture and rural development, global development policy, the environment and food safety and security. The specific issues that I am involved in at EU level range from, the need for the EU to ensure security of food supply, double standards on food imports to global trade issues under the WTO.
I have also worked to raise the plight of children, especially those with a disability in orphanages in Romania and Bulgaria â€“ two of the newer accession states of the EU.
Within Ireland my priorities have included more balanced regional and local development, food labelling, vocational and other educational programmes, particularly at community level, transport and equal opportunities for people with disabilities, carers and older people.
I regularly travel throughout the constituency of Ireland East, meeting as many people as possible in schools, community groups and various other forums to engage with them on the EU, how it works and what it stands for.
If you are interested in taking a closer look at my work, please follow the links below;