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Our Leadership

Our leadership, support team and members are the driving forces behind Ireland First, leading with unwavering dedication and an unyielding commitment to putting Ireland first. As true champions of the Irish people, they embody the values and aspirations of our movement.

The Leadership Team

Derek Blighe (President)

Derek Blighe, a proud Cork native, epitomises the spirit of putting Ireland first. A married father of three, Derek supports his family by working as a bricklayer. He has always held a steadfast belief in prioritising the interests of our nation. His previous involvement with other nationalist parties revealed a misalignment of his energetic and confrontational approach with their ideologies.

Recognising the need for a true peoples party, Derek accepted the challenge and vocation of the position of the Leader to establish Ireland First as a grassroots movement. While politics was not initially his passion, Derek understood the necessity of immersing himself in the field to bring about meaningful change for our country.

“We have entrusted our nation to the wrong individuals for far too long. Career politicians have consistently let us down. It is time to rely on the strength and determination of ordinary hard-working individuals, men, women, and parents who have the future of their children at stake. Together, we can rectify the problems created by these career politicians.”

Derek’s ultimate goal is to reform the political system, ensuring that the crimes committed against the people of Ireland within our own borders do not recur, and holding those responsible accountable for their actions. Ireland First will bring about the necessary changes for a just and prosperous Ireland.

Derek will run in state (Cork East) and local (Fermoy LEA) elections.

Margaret "Alacoque" Maguire (Vice President)

Born in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Alacoque spent most of her life in the UK. A shrewd, self-employed businesswoman, and mother, Alacoque lists preserving our nation as her top priority.

With a deep understanding of Irish and international politics, and a love for our Constitution, Alacoque is the driving force on all matters constitutional, policies and strategic planning.

As one of the co-founders of Ireland First, Alacoques commitment to Ireland is unwavering – having explored many political parties, none had the full package: strong leader, activists, sensible policies – she knew what needed to be done but needed a leader to follow… then she came across Derek. Along with Sarah, the Party Secretary, they decided to approach Derek and asked him to lead a party.

Alacoque will contest local and state elections in her local area of Longford-Westmeath (state) and Mullingar (local).

Sarah Herraty (Party Secretary)

Sarah is a chartered accountant by profession. From Roscommon, Sarah grew up immersed in Irish culture, surrounded by her mothers and grandparents love for traditional music.

Sarah was not active on the political scene at all prior to 2021. Like with most people, the actions (inaction) of the government in the last 3 years compelled her to set about asking questions and researching what was really going on – outside what the MainStream Media was reporting. This all led her to Dereks telegram channel where she became actively involved in discussions with people across the country, eventually taking on the role as admin on Derek’s telegram chat.

Sarah saw that more and more people on the chats and Social Media platforms were calling on Derek to lead, “You could see it, daily people from across the country saying that they needed someone to take the lead.

Myself and Alacoque had been talking at that time and we both also felt that we needed a disrupter, we needed to ‘put a cat amongst the pigeons’, we needed someone that would say it as it is, without fear of losing their position and without fear of the inevitable lazy name-calling and character attacks that come when you challenge the establishment. So, we put it to Derek to form a political party. We needed a leader. We would follow and support but needed a strong leader. He was hesitant at first, hated politics. We argued though that a political party is just a group of like-minded individuals. A non-political movement is great for spreading information and getting people motivated. However, for real change you must beat them at the ballot box, you have to fight them from within their protected comfort zone. For me, there was no other way: once I understood what was happening, I couldn’t do nothing, you can’t unsee what you observe or unknow what you learn.”

Tommy Murphy (Chairman)

Tommy Murphy’s upbringing in County Cork immersed him in the rich tapestry of Irish history and folklore, lovingly shared by his grandparents. It was through these stories that he developed a profound appreciation for Irish culture and heritage, passed down through generations.

As time went on, Tommy grew increasingly alarmed by the direction Ireland was taking under the shadow of globalism and EU membership, particularly after the passage of the Nice treaty. He observed the far-reaching consequences and the lack of significant opposition to the decisions made by the Irish government.

His concerns deepened during the 2020 lockdown, as he recognized the architects behind it and the implications it had for the Irish people. Driven by a desire to challenge the status quo, Tommy joined forces with like-minded citizens, united under the banner of Ireland First, a political party committed to safeguarding Ireland’s future.

Currently serving as the party Chairman, Tommy stands as a steadfast advocate within Ireland First. Furthermore, he plans to represent the people of Cork by running as a candidate in one of the Cork constituencies, ensuring that their voices are heard, and their concerns are addressed at the highest level.

Together, we will protect our cultural heritage, preserve our nation’s sovereignty, and advocate for the best interests of the Irish people. Tommy’s commitment to his community and his unwavering dedication makes him an invaluable asset to Ireland First.

Declan O’Malley (Treasurer)

Declan O’Malley was born and reared in Cork City. Declan has been apolitical all of his adult life until he witnessed the seismic changes in Irish society over the last few years and the wilful disregard and disdain that successive governments have shown for the will of the Irish people. The lack of any open discussion, debate or discourse on major issues and the media censorship of dissenting voices has spurred him to bring his financial experience into the political sphere.

Declan is a Chartered Certified Accountant and a Chartered Tax Advisor. Declan has over thirty years’ experience working as an external auditor, a professional tax advisor, a financial controller and as a financial analyst. His skill sets are as broad as they are deep and he is perfectly equipped to oversee the financial stewardship of Ireland First.