Ciarán Cuffe (born 3 April 1963) is an Irish Green Party politician, an architect and a lecturer in planning. He was a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dún Laoghaire constituency from 2002 to 2011, and served as Minister of State for Horticulture; Sustainable Travel; and Planning and Heritage from 2010 to 2011.
He was born in Shankill, Dublin. George Skakel, a founder of Great Lakes Carbon Corporation, is his maternal grandfather through Patricia Sistine Skakel (1925-2000). His mother was Ethel Skakel Kennedy's sister. His cousins include the children of Skakel and Robert F. Kennedy. His granduncle was the Fianna Fáil TD Patrick Little.
Cuffe attended the Children's House Montessori School in Stillorgan, Gonzaga College in Ranelagh, the University of Maine at Orono, University College Dublin, and the University of Venice. He has degrees in architecture and town planning from University College Dublin. He lectures in urban planning at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Bolton Street.
He joined the Green Party in 1982, and campaigned with Students Against the Destruction of Dublin in the 1980s. Cuffe was twice elected to Dublin City Council in 1991 and 1999 for the South Inner City electoral area.
He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Dublin Central constituency at the 1997 general election, but was elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2002 general election for the Dún Laoghaire constituency.
In June 2003, he stepped down as the Green party's environment spokesperson after it was revealed that he held shares worth $70,000 in a number of oil exploration companies which he had inherited when his late mother had left him $1.3 million in her will. He was re-elected at the 2007 general election.
Following the 2007 Irish general election, the Irish Green Party formed a coalition government with two other political parties and a number of independent TDs.
Just after the general election on 28 May 2007, he wrote on his blog: "A deal with Fianna Fáil would be a deal with the Devil. We would be spat out after 5 years, and decimated as a party".
On 23 March 2010, following a cabinet reshuffle, he was appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Department of Transport and the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government with special responsibility for Horticulture; Sustainable Travel; and Planning and Heritage.
While Cuffe was in office, the Oireachtas enacted the Planning & Development (Amendment) Act 2010 to address land-use planning failures and over-zoning of development land. The legislation reformed the way development plans and local area plans are made and, for the first time in Irish legislation included a definition of 'Anthropogenic Climate Change' and required energy use to be taken into account in planning decisions. He also published an update of the National Spatial Strategy.
He promoted healthy eating for children, school gardens and local markets. He published bills to address climate change and noise pollution, and heritage protection. In January 2011, he launched a new policy to allow bicycles on off-peak DART trains.
He resigned as Minister of State on 23 January 2011 when the Green Party withdrew from government. He lost his seat at the 2011 general election.
At the 2014 local elections he was elected to Dublin City Council on the 13th count for Dublin North Inner City area.