James was educated by the Christian Brothers and then Trinity College from where he holds Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Maths and Finance (B.A., M.Sc.) and more recently Kings Inns (B.L.) where he trained as a Barrister. Professionally, he has worked in IT and in financial services and currently works in regulation, with a particular focus on data protection, corporate governance and consumer protection. James lives in Sallins with his wife Ailish, a primary teacher, and their two children, Caoimhe and Niamh, and is a daily commuter into Dublin for work. He is originally from County Wexford and also lived in Dublin before moving to Kildare to set up home for himself and his family. In his spare time James enjoys most sports, especially GAA, and is also a regular participant in 5k and 10k runs around Kildare.
James was elected to Kildare County Council in 2014, topping the poll for the entire county with 2,123 first preferences. James has since served as whip of the Fianna Fáil council group, he is also a member of the council environmental, heritage and joint policing committees. In July 2015 James was elected Mayor of Naas Municipal District. James was selected at convention earlier this year as the Fianna Fáil candidate for North Kildare in the upcoming general election.
Prior to entering the council, James was a long standing community activist and has led local campaigns to secure amenity lands, improve local facilities and improve commuter services just as examples over the past few years. As spokesperson for the Naas and Sallins Rail Users James has lobbied for many improvements to the local train service, James founded and served as Chair of the Sallins Business Association, he has also been very active establishing and supporting community alert groups in the area. James is active on his own Sallins Pier residents committee, is chair of Sallins Community Games and is PRO for Sallins GAA club. James was elected on the first count to the Fianna Fáil National Executive in March 2012 and served as Editor of the in-house party magazine, Cuisle, from 2011-2015.