I come from a family farm in Belclare, County Galway. I am married to Geraldine McHugh from Caherlistrane and we have three children, Kenneth, Shane and the late David. I am the son of Sheila and the late Christy Canney and am one of seven children.
I am a chartered quantity surveyor and prior to my election to the Dáil in 2016, I lectured in GMIT. I have always been active in the community. I was (is or was? Check) Public Relations Officer for Belclare/Sylane Community Council and was chairman at the time of the development of the Community Sports facility in Belclare. I am a member of Corofin GAA, having served as Assistant Secretary for a number of years.
I was first elected to Galway County Council in 2004 and was re-elected in 2009 and 2014. I served as Mayor of County Galway in 2007-2008. I was also a member of the Planning and Development SPC and Vice Chairperson of the Inter County Rail Committee.
I was elected to the Dáil as TD for Galway East in 2016 and appointed Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, then Assistant Chief Whip and a member of the Council of Europe. I was appointed Minister of State in the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment in October 2018. I have special responsibilities for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development.
I am chairperson of the Atlantic Economic Corridor Task Force, the National Advisory Council to Government for Online Safety and the Mobile Phone and Broadband Task Force Implementation Group).
I want to ensure that Ireland is a place where our children and grandchildren can build a decent life for themselves, where all people are treated equally and where our society looks after the most vulnerable.
I am totally committed to do everything within my power to achieve this. We need to implement policies that empower people and communities. People must always be the priority.