- 30 Jan 17
With no background in politics, and a paltry five weeks to canvass, he was first elected to the Dáil in 2011 as an Independent. Since then, he co-founded and then left the Social Democratic Party. Throughout all of this, he has retained a boyish enthusiasm and a sense of humour – which is unusual in Irish politics. So what lies behind the cheerful demeanour and liberal attitudes of the TD for Wicklow? Well, he’s a long-time fan of Hot Press for a start…
Stephen Donnelly is happy as Larry, as he sits down at his desk in Leinster House to kick off this interview. I initially wonder if it’s because the weight of the world has been lifted off his shoulders, since he announced his bombshell resignation as co-leader of Social Democrats.
The truth, however, is more mundane: Stephen is tickled pink by the fact that he’s finally going to appear in Hot Press.
“It’s kind of a sad way to make Hot Press though, isn’t it?” the 41-year-old laughs. “You know yourself: you’re 14/15/16/17 and you think, ‘One day I could be a famous, cool rock star. Maybe one day I’ll get into Hot Press’. Because when you bought Hot Press as a kid, you were using all your cash, right? So, it was a big deal when you’d think to yourself: ‘Maybe one day.’”