Dick Sadlier, who lectures at the Limerick Institute of Technology, was also recently appointed to the board of Shannon Development.
Mr Sadlier joined the PDs for a period but had returned to Fianna Fáil when elected mayor of Limerick.
As revealed by the Irish Examiner, a well known PD activist, Kay McGuinness, has also been nominated by the minister to chair the port company.
Ms McGuinness is a director of Southern Advertising and sits on the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland.
Mr Dempsey has also nominated Foynes businessman, Michael Adams to the port company’s board.
Mr Adams, who works in the motor trade, is chairman of the Foynes Fianna Fáil cumann.
The transport minister has six nominees on the board.
Two were appointed last year and the sixth newcomer is Limerick businessman, John Carr, who lives in Ballyclough.
One of the big tasks facing the new board centres on the Limerick Docklands Initiative (LDI).
Former chief executive, Brian Byrne drew up a blueprint for the development of the city’s docks.
However, it met with strong resistance from port users and local politicians.
Mr Byrne was subsequently suspended from the board which led to him taking High Court action. He settled for a compensation package of €500,000.
The port company also had to meet legal costs of around €1.6 million in the settlement with Mr Byrne.
The LDI sparked a huge response from building and commercial interests who see massive potential for the docklands development.
The Byrne plan envisaged the provision of a range of hotels, restaurants, bars, residential and retail areas.
One source said: “Limerick docks may hold the key to revive the fortunes of the building sector over the coming years. There are a lot of interested people keeping a close eye on any new moves by the Shannon Foynes Port Company on the docklands initiative.”