| Cultural and Educational Panel|
22 November 1953 (age 62)
Galway, Ireland (1953-11-22)
London School of Economics & University of Limerick
University of Limerick, London School of Economics and Political Science
Gerard Craughwell Wikipedia
Gerard Craughwell (born 22 November 1953) is an Irish independent politician who has served as a Senator since 2014, currently for the Labour Panel.
Craughwell was born in Galway and grew up in Salthill. Aged 16 he emigrated to London, working in a pub before joining the Royal Irish Rangers. After five years he returned to Ireland and joined the Irish Army, serving in the first infantry battalion and fifth medical company at Renmore Barracks in Galway and rising to the rank of sergeant. He left the army in 1980 and took over his father's gas appliance maintenance business until it failed in 1983. Aged 35 he entered further education as a student in Limerick Senior College, gaining a degree in economics accredited by the London School of Economics. and then teaching in Dún Laoghaire Senior College. He joined the national executive of the Teachers' Union of Ireland in 2009, and was president between 2012 and June 2014.
He is married with two children. He was previously a member of Fine Gael but ruled out re-joining the party.
A vacancy in the Seanad arose when Deirdre Clune was elected in the 2014 European Parliament elections. Craughwell put himself forward in August 2014 as an independent candidate, initially a symbolic gesture to protest against the usual practice of the government using its parliamentary majority to secure the election of its chosen candidate. Craughwell secured nomination from members of the technical group and Fianna Fáil. He unexpectedly won the election when the Fine Gael candidate, John McNulty, withdrew from the race after controversy over the perceived impropriety of his appointment to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art the month before the election.
Craughwell tried twice to join the independent Seanad group, but it refused to admit him. He suggested the group, mainly Taoiseach's nominees, was compromising its independence and supporting the government. He later joined the Independent Alliance. He did not endorse Alliance members' criticism of the government's January 2016 appointment of David Begg as chair of the Pensions Authority.
Craughwell ran in the Seanad election in April 2016 and was elected on the Labour Panel.
Senator Craughwell left the Independent Alliance during the talks about forming a government in 2016.