2011: Re-elected as Teachta Dála
2010: Appointed Minister for Social Protection
2007: Appointed Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs
2002: Appointed Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs
2001-2002: Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food & Rural Development, with special responsibility for Rural Development.
1997-2001: Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and Islands with special responsibility for the Gaeltacht, Irish language and island development.
1991-97: Member Galway County Council and of a number of subsidiary Committees
1995-1997: Party Spokesman for Islands, Gaeltacht and Rural Development
1994-97 Member of the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation.
1992: Elected to Dáil Éireann
1989-92: Elected Senator on the Cultural and Educational Panel.
Born Dublin, June 1950.
Married to Áine Ní Choincheannain; three sons, one daughter.
Educated Oatlands College, Mount Merrion, Dublin and UCD (BSc).
Former Manager of a Gaeltacht Co-Operative involved in establishing local businesses including agricultural services, timber milling, tourism and cultural and social development.