Anyone who meets Finian McGrath gets an immediate sense that he genuinely cares about people.
Shortly after that they perceive his strong sense of community spirit and appreciate he is a man of integrity. Anyone who knows his history knows how deeply ingrained in his personality these characteristics are.
Finian has a long history working for the disadvantaged. Both he and his wife Anne worked as schoolteachers in the north inner city, at a time when Dublin was suffering with problems of heroin, high unemployment and poverty. As a founder member of the Irish National Teachers Organisation (I.N.T.O.) Credit Union, Finian has made a significant contribution to the teaching community. Finian became involved with the Simon Community and campaigned against educational disadvantage, and was chairman of the Dublin branch of Down’s Syndrome Ireland. He was persuaded to enter politics after electioneering and working closely with former Dublin Central Independent TD Tony Gregory.
Finian with the late Tony Gregory TD
“I saw that Tony managed to squeeze 80 million out of the Government for social housing and education. I was working on the same problems he was working on and the more groups I got involved with in the north side, the more my work became politicised.”
The honesty of his personality, policies and philosophy resonated with the public. In 1999 he was elected to Dublin City Council and in 2002, he won a seat as an Independent TD in Dublin’s Northside, an area with a strong history of electing Independent TDs including Dr. Noel Browne and Seán Dublin Bay Loftus.
A real independent voice
Finian has a long track record campaigning on issues relating to the elderly, children, health, education, human rights, the arts and the peace process. In particular, Finian has been a strong voice for people with disabilities, advocating for a change of mindset from a charity view of people to a human rights based approach.
A partnership government
Finian was Minister of Disability Issues from May 2016 until June 2020 and served in the 32nd Dáil. During that time, Finian was accountable for developing and articulating government policy on improving the lives of people with disabilities and their carers. .
Finian is widowed and lives in Dublin Bay North. He has two daughters; Caoimhe and Clíodhna and is a proud grandfather. He is a supporter of St Vincent’s GAA and Shelbourne FC. His passion is music and he loves to jam with his son-in-law Niall.