Lawless runs in to Dáil after years of commuting

Commuting from Kildare to Dublin every day, while paying a mortgage and rearing a family, James Lawless felt he understood much of his constituency.

Lawless runs in to Dáil after years of commuting

The first-time TD received 7,461 first-preference votes, which secured him the second seat in the constituency of Kildare North.

Originally from Wexford, Mr Lawless lived in Dublin, before moving to Kildare, and said he understood, on a personal level, many of the issues of his constituents, such as housing and childcare.

The new Fianna Fáil TD said: “I have got the train up to Dublin for the last 13 years, paying a mortgage and paying childcare, and they were the areas that came up on the doors.”

Although he failed to win a seat on Kildare County Council in the 2009 local elections, Mr Lawless, who lives in the commuter-belt village of Sallins, topped the poll in May, 2014, representing Naas. It was a massive win for the candidate, who not only received the largest vote in Kildare, but also achieved the second-highest Fianna Fáil election quota in the country. So he was quietly confident entering the general-election race.

Married to Ailish, a primary school teacher, the father of two teenage girls, Caoimhe, 18, and Niamh, 13, said taking up a seat in Leinster House was a proud day for the family.

He studied finance and maths at Trinity College Dublin and got a job in IT, before going on to train as a barrister. A keen runner, he is now eager to rejoin the Naas run, on Saturday mornings. He said: “I had to put that on hold during the campaign, although I got plenty of exercise knocking on doors.”

More in this section