Senator Eamonn Coghlan joins FG


Former champion athlete and Taoiseach’s nominee to Seanad Éireann, Eamonn Coghlan, is joining the Fine Gael parliamentary party.

Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny made the announcement with Mr Coghlan, at short notice to the news media, on the Leinster House plinth at 9am.

The Taoiseach said he was “very happy” to receive Mr Coghlan’s request to join Fine Gael.

Mr Kenny said he appointed Eamonn Coghlan to the Seanad because of his achievements as an athlete and his charity work.

“I’m thrilled today that he himself has decided to join the Fine Gael party.”

Mr Coghlan said he had been “very surprised” as well as honoured and privileged last May to be nominated as an Independent member of the Seanad by the Taoiseach.

He had taken the initiative by approaching Fine Gael to become a member: “Hopefully I will be accepted.”

Asked if he would now be going for the Dáil, Mr Coghlan replied that his next step was to become a member of Fine Gael: “We’ll take it from there.”

Born in Dublin in 1952, Mr Coghlan was one of the world’s premier middle distance runners.

He was World 5000 metres Champion in 1983, a three-time contestant in the Olympic Games, held the world indoor mile record for two decades, and is the only person to have run a sub-four minute mile at the age of 40 or older.

Appointed as a Taoiseach’s nominee to Seanad Éireann in May last year, he is currently North American director of fundraising for the Children’s Medical Research Foundation at Our Lady’s Children's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin.