Pat was first elected to Donegal County Council in 1979, serving as Chairperson in 1985. Elected to Dáil Eireann in 1981 on his first attempt, promoted to Minister of State for Marine in 1987 and subsequently made Minister of State in the various Departments of Gaeltacht, Environment, Transport, and Health between 1990 and 2008 under different governments.
He was elected to the European Parliament for the first time in 1994 where he served until 2002 when he returned to the Dáil. He again returned to the European Parliament in 2009 where he served until 2014. He successfully contested the 2016 General Election and was elected Leas Cheann Comhairle of Dail Eireann on the 6th of July 2016. He currently serves as Fianna Fail spokesperson on marine matters.
He created history in May 2018 when he successfully rescinded a Statutory Instrument on marine penalty points system for fishing infringements the first ever Statutory Instrument to be rescinded in Dail history.
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Phone: 074 95 21133 / 01 7002191