Jim O’Callaghan, Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Bay South

Elected to Dáil Éireann in 2016 and 2020

Political Career

Jim was elected to Dublin City Council in 2009 and 2014. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin Bay South constituency since the 2016 general election.

He was a member of the Fianna Fáil Team that negotiated the Confidence and Supply Agreement that broke the political deadlock following the result of the 2016 election and facilitated the Dáil electing a minority government. He has introduced many Bills in the Dáil, including the Parole Bill 2016.

Jim drafted and secured cross-party support for his Parole Bill 2016, which was passed by the Oireachtas (Dáil and Seanad Éireann) and became an Act in 2019. It comprehensively reformed the parole system, giving victims of crime and their families the right to be heard during the parole process.

The Oireachtas also passed Jim’s proposals to expand the powers of the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Jim served as legal adviser to Fianna Fáil from 2011 – 2016. In May 2016, following his election to Dáil Éireann, he was appointed party front-bench spokesman on Justice and Equality.

He is currently the party’s front bench spokesman on justice.

Legal career

A barrister, Jim is a Senior Counsel. He holds degrees in Law from University College Dublin (UCD), Cambridge University and the King’s Inns.

Personal career

An avid rugby fan, Jim played at senior level. Capped for Ireland at under-21 level, he also represented UCD, Cambridge University, London Irish, Wanderers, Leinster and Connacht. A keen cyclist, he supports the expansion of the cycling infrastructure in Dublin.

Fianna Fáil is a centre-left national party.

Name origin

Fianna Fáil loosely translates as ‘soldiers of destiny’ or ‘warriors of Fál’. It’s full name is “Fianna Fáil – The Republican Party”.


The party’s name and logo incorporates the words ‘The Republican Party’. “Republican” here stands both for the unity of the island of Ireland and a commitment to the historic principles of European republican philosophy, namely liberty, equality and fraternity. The party’s enduring goal is to reunite the north and the south of Ireland.


The party was founded as an Irish republican party on 16 May 1926 by Éamon de Valera and his supporters after they split from the anti-treaty wing of Sinn Féin on the issue of abstentionism in the aftermath of the Irish Civil War.

The party dominated Irish political life for most of the 20th century, and, since its foundation, either it or Fine Gael has led every government. Between 1932 and 2011, it was the largest party in Dáil Éireann, but latterly with a decline in its vote share; from 1989 onwards, its periods of government were in coalition with parties of either the left or the right.


Fianna Fáil’s vote collapsed in the 2011 general election; it emerged in third place, in what was widely seen as a political realignment in the wake of the post-2008 Irish economic downturn. By 2016 it had recovered enough to become the largest opposition party, and it entered a confidence and supply arrangement with a Fine Gael-led minority government.

In 2020, after a number of months of political stalemate following the general election, Fianna Fáil agreed with Fine Gael and the Green Party to enter into an unprecedented grand coalition, with the leaders of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael rotating between the roles of Taoiseach and Tánaiste.

Dublin Bay South Constituency