Joe McCartin

Joe McCartin

John Joseph "Joe" McCartin (born 24 April 1939) is a retired Irish Fine Gael party politician, who served in both houses of the Oireachtas and in the European Parliament. He was born Aughnasheelan, Ballinamore Co. Leitrim, the son of small farmer Francis McCartin and his wife Annie Kate Lohan in Ireland. Educated at Drumbibe National School, Aughnasheelan and St. Patrick's College, Cavan. In 1972 he married Ann Clarke. They had two sons, John was born in 1975 and Brendan was born in 1977. As a young farmer, McCartin was awarded many national prizes for progressive and efficient farming. Joe founded the McCartin Bros. group of companies with his brother Tommy involving Structural Steel, Clothing Manufacture, Milling, Forestry, Pig Production, and Dairy/Beef Farming. They quickly became the largest employers in Leitrim. During the late 70s and early 80s, in spite of massive rural depopulation and emigration, the population in McCartin's neighbouring areas of South-Leitrim and West-Cavan held firm.

Political career

McCartin joined Fine Gael as a teenager and became secretary of the Ballinamore District Executive at the age of seventeen. He served as county secretary of Macra Na Feirme (Young Farmers Organisation) and was a member of its' national executive. He was Chairman of the fund raising committee which established the first rehabilitation centre in the North-West of Ireland. He was elected to Leitrim County Council in 1967. In 1973 he was elected to Seanad Éireann by the Agricultural Panel, and after his re-election to the Seanad in 1977 he was elected Leas Cathaoirleach of the 14th Seanad.

He was elected to the European Parliament in 1979 and to the Dáil in 1981. He served as secretary of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, Secretary of the Shadow Cabinet and Shadow Minister for Agriculture. He was elected Vice Chairman of the European Parliament's Budgetary Control Committee supervising the spending of hundreds of Billions of euro. He was the only Irish person ever to hold the position of Vice President European Peoples Party. He also served on the parliament’s Agriculture and Fisheries committees. He was Joint Auditor of the European Peoples Party along with John Bruton, former Irish Prime Minister and current EU ambassador to the USA. He retired form the European Parliament in 2004 having been the Republic of Ireland's longest-ever serving MEP.

In 1974 he was elected Leitrim Person of the Year. In 1977 he was named as one of Ireland's "People Of The Year" for "bringing hope to a depressed area." In 2004 he was presented with the Schuman Medal at a meeting of the European Christian Democrats in Budapest, Hungary for "his outstanding contribution to peace and unity in Europe and for the promotion of the human values of mankind".


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