|Member of the European Parliament|
May 2002 – May 2007
26 November 1953 |
County Sligo, Ireland
|Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe / European Democratic Party|
|Spouse(s)||Seán Harkin (deceased)|
|Alma mater||University College Dublin|
Harkin was born in Ballintogher, County Sligo in 1953. She is a graduate of University College Dublin with a Bachelor of Science degree in geology. She worked as a teacher of mathematics in a secondary school in Sligo town for 23 years. She lived in Manorhamilton, County Leitrim with her husband, Seán Harkin, where he ran a grocery business until his death in 1996. After her husband's death, Harkin and her two sons moved to Sligo town where they now live.
While living in Manorhamilton, Harkin became active in the voluntary and community sector and developed the view that people living in disadvantaged areas such as Connacht had to rely on their own initiative and energy to progress development of their region. Her work at local level led to her appointment to Developing the West Together, which evolved into the Council for the West, of which Harkin became chairperson.
She was elected to Dáil Éireann as an independent Teachta Dála (TD) for the Sligo–Leitrim constituency at the 2002 general election, receiving the highest number of first preference votes in the constituency.
At the 2004 European Parliament election, she was returned as a member of the European Parliament for the North-West constituency topping the poll and being elected on the fourth count.2 She had previously contested the 1999 European Parliament election in the same constituency (then called Connacht–Ulster), but had narrowly failed to be elected, losing out to Dana Rosemary Scallon for the third seat in the constituency. However in 2004, the position was reversed and Harkin was returned at Scallon's expense.
She was re-elected to the European Parliament at the 2009 European Parliament election topping the poll in her constituency.
She is a member of the European Parliament's Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group in the European Parliament, which comprises 85 MEPs from 19 member states.4 Harkin is a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the delegation for relations with the United States. She has been European Democratic Party Vice-President since December 2012.
|Independent Teachta Dála for Sligo–Leitrim
Dana Rosemary Scallon
|Member of the European Parliament for North-West