Barry Andrews: European candidate plucked from Fianna Fáil royalty

The new MEP candidate for Dublin comes from a line of TDs and senior party figures

Barry Andrews is congratulated by two of his children, Kate and Hugh, after being selected to contest the European Elections for Fianna Fáil in Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Barry Andrews is congratulated by two of his children, Kate and Hugh, after being selected to contest the European Elections for Fianna Fáil in Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

 

Barry Andrews, confirmed as Fianna Fáil’s European Parliament candidate for the Dublin constituency, hails from party royalty.

His father, David Andrews, was TD for Dún Laoghaire between 1965 and 2002 and minister for foreign affairs on two separate occasions, including when the Belfast Agreement was signed in 1998.

His cousin, Chris Andrews, was also a Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin South East from 2007 to 2011 but he has since left the party and is now a Sinn Féin member of Dublin City Council.

Niall Andrews – Barry’s uncle and Chris’s father – was a TD for Dublin South between 1977 and 1987, and also served as a Fianna Fáil MEP for Dublin for 20 years, from 1984 to 2004.

Speaking on Sunday night after being selected to run for the party, Mr Andrews said he couldn’t help but think of his uncle Niall and his widow Bernadette.

“I’m sure it is a poignant day for her to see me become a nominated candidate for the MEP elections.”

Todd Andrews, Barry’s grandfather, was a former chairman of RTÉ and CIE and was also the first managing director of Bord na Móna.

In his own political career, Barry Andrews (51), a barrister, served on Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council between 1999 and 2003 and won a Dáil seat in Dún Laoghaire in 2002, when his father retired.

He served as minister of state for children in his second Dáil term but lost the seat at the 2011 general election, which saw Fianna Fáil reduced to 20 TDs in the wake of the economic crash and EU-IMF bailout.

After losing his Dáil seat, Mr Andrews worked as head of Goal, but resigned in the wake of a US investigation into the charity’s multimillion-euro Syria operation. He subsequently took up the position of director general of the Institute of International and European Affairs.

He is a first cousin of broadcaster Ryan Tubridy and a brother of comedian David McSavage.