Clare Daly, Irish politician who has been a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Ireland for the Dublin constituency since July 2019, is born in Newbridge, County Kildare, on April 16, 1968. She is a member of Independents 4 Change, part of The Left in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL.
Daly’s father, Kevin Daly, was a colonel in the Irish Army, where he was Director of Signals. She is an atheist, while her brother and an uncle are Catholic priests. She studies accountancy at Dublin City University (DCU). She is twice elected president of the DCU Students’ Union and is active in the students’ movement as a campaigner for abortion rights and information. On leaving college she takes a job in the catering section of Aer Lingus on a low wage and becomes SIPTU‘s shop steward at Dublin Airport when the airline is engaged in extensive cost-cutting and outsourcing.
In the 1980s Daly is a member of the Labour Party as a teenager. A member of Labour’s Militant Tendency, she is expelled alongside Joe Higgins and other members after being accused of being Trotskyists infiltrating the party using the tactic of entryism. At first calling themselves Militant Labour, in 1996 they form the Socialist Party. In the 1999 Irish local elections she is elected as a Fingal County Councillor for the Swords area, a position she holds for 12 years. She is elected as a Socialist Party TD for the Dublin North constituency at the 2011 Irish general election.
Since 2012, Daly has formed a close political association with Mick Wallace. After Wallace is condemned by left-wing TDs following the revelation his building company had avoided €2.1 million in taxes, she resigns from the Socialist Party in August 2012 in protest and redesignates herself as a United Left Alliance TD, before switching party again in 2015 to her current party, Independents 4 Change.
At the 2019 European Parliament elections, Daly is elected for the Dublin constituency. Since becoming an MEP, she has gained international attention for her foreign policy views, particularly regarding Russia and China, which have been the subject of controversy and criticism.
A report by The Irish Times in April 2022 describes Daly and Wallace’s media profile in China, and discusses how since January 2021, Daly has been featured in more Chinese-language news articles than any other Irish person, while Wallace has the second most Chinese-language news articles. In April 2022, Daly and Wallace initiate defamation proceedings against RTÉ.
On September 15, 2022, Daly is one of sixteen MEPs who vote against condemning President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua for human rights violations, in particular the arrest of Bishop Rolando José Álvarez Lagos.