Deirdre Clune
Member of the European Parliament
Assumed office
1 February 2020
In office
1 July 2014 – 24 May 2019
In office
24 April 2011 – 14 May 2014
ConstituencyCultural and Educational Panel
Teachta Dála
In office
May 2007 – February 2011
In office
June 1997 – May 2002
ConstituencyCork South-Central
Lord Mayor of Cork
In office
20 May 2005 – 23 May 2006
Personal details
Deirdre Barry

(1959-06-01) 1 June 1959 (age 64)
Blackrock, Cork, Ireland
Political party
Conor Clune
(m. 1982)
RelativesAnthony Barry (grandfather)
Alma mater

Deirdre Clune (née Barry; born 1 June 1959) is an Irish politician who is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Ireland for the South constituency. She is a member of Fine Gael, part of the European People's Party.

She previously served as a Senator for the Cultural and Educational Panel from 2011 to 2014, a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Cork South-Central constituency from 1997 to 2002 and 2007 to 2011 and Lord Mayor of Cork from 2005 to 2006.[1]

Early life

Clune was educated at Ursuline Convent Cork, and went on to graduate from University College Cork in 1980, with a B.E. in Civil Engineering. She completed a diploma in Management Engineering at Trinity College Dublin in 1983 and returned to UCC in 1996 to complete her HDip in Environmental Engineering.[citation needed]

Political career

Clune was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1997 general election succeeding her father, Peter Barry who was retiring. Her grandfather Anthony Barry had also been a TD, making her a third generation member of the Dáil. In the Dáil, she was appointed Fine Gael front bench spokesperson on Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands in June 2000 and spokesperson on Environmental and Consumer Affairs from February 2001.

She lost her seat at the 2002 general election. She also contested the 2002 elections to the 22nd Seanad on the Industrial and Commercial Panel, but was unsuccessful.[2]

She was a member of Cork City Council from 1999 to 2007 and became the 68th Lord Mayor of Cork on 27 June 2005.

Clune regained her Dáil seat at the 2007 general election. She was appointed deputy spokesperson on Enterprise with special responsibility for Innovation from 2007 to 2010. In July 2010, she was appointed as party spokesperson on Innovation and Research.[3]

She lost her seat at the 2011 general election to party colleague Jerry Buttimer.[2] She was subsequently elected to Seanad Éireann on the Cultural and Educational Panel in April 2011,[4] where she served as Fine Gael Seanad spokesperson on Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation.

At the 2014 European Parliament election, she was elected for the South constituency.[5] She was re-elected at the 2019 European Parliament election for South but took the fifth and final Brexit seat, so she did not take her seat until after the United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020.

On 15 November 2023, Clune announced that she will not contest the 2024 European Parliament election[6]

See also


  1. ^ "Deirdre Clune". Oireachtas Members Database. Archived from the original on 8 November 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Deirdre Clune". Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2009.
  3. ^ "Bruton & Noonan return to Fine Gael frontbench". RTÉ News. 1 July 2010. Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
  4. ^ "FG's Deirdre Clune takes first Seanad seat". RTÉ News. 26 April 2011. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  5. ^ "European Election: 23 May 2014 – South – European Parliament". Elections Ireland. Archived from the original on 20 April 2019. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  6. ^ Hurley, Sandra (15 November 2023). "Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune will not contest next election". RTÉ News. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
European Parliament Preceded byBrian CrowleySeán KellyPhil Prendergast Member of the European Parliament for South 2014–present With: Brian CrowleySeán KellyLiadh Ní Riada Incumbent Civic offices Preceded bySeán Martin Lord Mayor of Cork 2005 Succeeded byMichael Ahern