Padraig O’Sullivan’s political career took off when he joined Fianna Fáil in 2012

The new Fianna Fáil TD first ran as an Independent under the New Vision banner in Cork North Central in 2011

Newly-elected Cork North Central Fianna Fáil TD Padraig O'Sullivan has taken a somewhat unpredictable path to Dáil Éireann.

A native of Little Island in east Cork but resident in Glanmire, the 35-year-old first ran as an Independent under the New Vision banner in Cork North Central in 2011. His first foray into electoral politics, it proved a less than auspicious beginning, with O'Sullivan winning just 1,020 votes or 1.96 per cent of the poll.

However, his political career took off on an upward trajectory since he joined Fianna Fáil in July 2012.

Elected to Cork County Council for the Cobh Electoral Area in 2014 with 2,628 votes (14.72 per cent), he comfortably held his seat in the revised Cobh Electoral Area in 2019. He polled 2,608, with his vote share rising to 21.84 per cent.


That performance saw Fianna Fáil's national executive add him to the ticket to run alongside sitting TD Kevin O'Keeffe in Cork East in the next general election.

Opportunity arose when Billy Kelleher’s election as an MEP created a vacancy in Cork North Central.

He successfully contested the Cork North Central selection convention in August, seeing off the challenge of sitting city councillors Tony Fitzgerald and Ken O'Flynn, and with the Fianna Fáil machine behind him he won the byelection.

A teacher at Coláiste Chraoibhín in Fermoy, where he teaches Irish and history, Mr O'Sullivan is married to Bernie, and the couple have a nine-month-old son Paidi Og.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times