FORMER WORLD CHAMPION runner and current senator Eamonn Coghlan has joined Fine Gael.
The three-time Olympian, who won the 5,000m gold medal at the World Championships in 1983, was appointed to the Seanad in May of last year by the Taoiseach as an independent.
The news that he is joining Fine Gael was confirmed this morning by the party’s Dublin director of elections Terry Murphy. It brings the number of Fine Gael members in the Seanad to 20 – the most of any party in the upper house.
Born in Drimnagh in south Dublin in 1952, Coghlan enjoyed unparalleled success as a middle-distance runner for Ireland winning numerous titles in indoor and outdoor events.
He won gold in the 1500m at the European Indoor Championships in Vienna in 1979 and gold in the 5000m at the World Championships in Helsinki in 1983. He also competed in three Summer Olympics finishing fourth in the 1500m at the 1976 games and fourth again in the 5000m at the 1980 games.
Coghlan was one of the Taoiseach’s 11 nominees to the Seanad last May. He had appeared at campaign events for Fine Gael and worked as Director of the Crumlin Children’s Medical and Research Foundation.