Denis-Naughten-11Who is Denis?

Denis is father to four young children: Liam, Ava, Eoin and Ella.

Born in Drum, County Roscommon, Denis was educated at Ardkeenan NS; St Aloysius College, Athlone; University College Dublin; and University College Cork where he did a research project in Food Microbiology.

What’s his background?

Denis Naughten has a strong electoral record having delivered a second seat for Fine Gael on three occasions. In 1997, he secured a second seat for the party in the Longford-Roscommon constituency and in 2007 in the new constituency of Roscommon-South Leitrim.

Denis was re-elected to the Dáil in February 2011 for the constituency of Roscommon-South Leitrim. He was subsequently elected as the Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health, Children & Youth Affairs.

However, he was expelled from the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party in July 2011, for voting against a Government reversal of written commitment’s given by the coalition parties in advance of the 2011 election, on health services at Roscommon County Hospital.

He was re-elected as an Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway at the 2016 General Election, and in May 2016 was appointed a senior Government Minister. He was reappointed to Cabinet in June 2017 and to his position as Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

Denis sits as an independent TD in Dáil Éireann. He is the son of the late Liam Naughten who was a Dáil Deputy from 1982 to 1989 and a member of the Seanad from 1981 to 1982 and 1989 to 1996.

Denis has a keen interest in all sports and has played Gaelic football with Clann na nGael GAA club, and has held both county and provincial athletic titles with Moore AC.

Where has he served?

Denis served as Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment from May 2016 until October 2018.

He has previously held a number of positions of the Fine Gael Front Bench including:

  • Spokesperson on Immigration and Integration 2007-2010
  • Spokesperson on Agriculture & Food 2004-2007
  • Spokesperson on Transport 2002-2004
  • Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade & Employment 2000-2001

A scientist by profession, Denis was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1997 and was the party’s Spokesperson on Youth Affairs, School Transport and Adult Education from 1997 to 2000 and Deputy Spokesperson on Public Enterprise from 2001 to 2002.

Denis had previously been elected to Seanad Éireann in a by-election on the Agricultural Panel in January 1997 and became the youngest ever member of the Seanad.

He is presently a member of the Governing Council of the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA) which works in partnership with African parliaments to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Africa, keep Africa high on the political agenda in Europe and facilitate African-European parliamentary dialogue.

Denis has been a member of the following parliamentary committees:

28th Dáil (1997-2002)

  • Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education & Science
  • Joint Oireachtas Committee on Tourism, Sport and Recreation
  • Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise & Small Business.

29th Dáil (2002-2007)

  • Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport
  • Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture & Food

30th Dáil (2007-2011)

  • Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence & Women’s Rights
  • Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution

31st Dáil (2011-2016)

  • Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health, Children & Youth Affairs

Denis is co-author of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education & Science reports on School Transport in Ireland and on Science & Technology.

He was a member of Roscommon County Council and the Western Health Board from 1997 to 2003.