Willie O’Dea was first elected to the Dáil in February 1982 for the Limerick East (currently Limerick City) constituency and at each subsequent Election. He is currently Fianna Fail Spokesperson on Social Protection. Willie O’Dea was appointed Minister for Defence in September 2004 and was reappointed to that office following the June 2007 General Election and on the appointment of Brian Cowen as Taoiseach in May 2008 and served in that position until February 2010.
As Minister for Defence, Willie O’Dea also served as the Chairman of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning and chaired the All-Party 1916 Centenary Commemoration Committee.

Previous Portfolios:
* Minister of State at the Dept of Justice, Equality and Law Reform (with responsibility for Equality Issues) 2002 – 2004.
* Minister of State at the Dept of Education 1997 – 2002
* Minister of State at the Depts of Justice & Health, 1993-1994.
* Minister of State at the Dept of Justice, 1992-1993

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