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Dick Roche (born 30 March 1947) is an Irishmarker Fianna F√°il politician. He is currently a Teachta D√°la (TD) for the Wicklow constituency and Minister of State for European Affairs.
 Roche has also served in Seanad √Čireann from 1992‚Äď97.

Early and private life

Roche was born in Wexfordmarker and was educated at Wexford Christian Brothers School and University College Dublinmarker (UCD) where he received Bachelor of Commerce Degree and a Masters Degree in Public Administration. Roche's grandfather, Jem Roche, was a one-time heavyweight boxing champion of Ireland who also fought unsuccessfully for the world title.

Roche is married to Eleanor Griffin, and they have three sons and one daughter. They live in County Wicklowmarker.

On 15 December 2008 he was held hostage during a robbery at the Druids Glen Marriott Hotel and Country Club in County Wicklow.

Political career

Roche worked as a public servant at the Departments of Posts and Telegraphs, Transport and Power, Finance and at the Department of Economic Planning and Development. In 1978 he was appointed lecturer in Public Administration and Public Finance at UCDmarker. In 1978 Roche became the first Irish Citizen to be awarded a United Nations Human Rights fellowship. He subsequently became a member of the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace and served as a time as Chairman of the Commission.

Roche began his political career in 1985 when he was elected to Wicklow County Councilmarker. Two years later, at the 1987 general election he was elected to D√°il √Čireann as a Fianna F√°il TD for the Wicklow constituency.

Roche lost his seat at the 1992 general election but was elected to Seanad √Čireann. In the Irish Senate Roche introduced a Freedom of Information Bill based closely on the Norwegian Freedom of Information legislation. He was returned to the 28th D√°il at the 1997 general election and has remained a TD since. Following the 2002 general election Roche was appointed Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Foreign Affairs with special responsibility for European Affairs. In his role, effectively as Minister for Europe, he played a large role during Irelandmarker's Presidency of the European Council in 2004. In 2004 he became Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. He retained his seat at the 2007 general election but, on the formation of the new government, was the only member of the previous Cabinet to be demoted, being re-appointed to his Minister of State for European Affairs role.

His last act as Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government was the signing of an order that was to lead to work being resumed on the controversial M3 motorway near the Hill of Taramarker.


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