Roscommon Holiday

Roscommon Ireland

People of Note

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan is an Irish independant politician, TD, social activist and Roscommon native, from Castlerea.

The media portrayed Flanagan as a joke candidate in his early political career because of his shaved head and'Ming the Merciless’ style beard and election material that featured cannabis leaves. Despite his early local and European election campaigns being unsuccessful during 1997 and 2002, Luke showed himself to be adept at using the media as a platform to get his view across and gain support.

Returning to Castlerea, Flanagan was elected to Roscommon County Council in 2004 and was re-elected in 2009 and voted in as Mayor of Roscommon in 2010. As well as putting in five years of work for the people of Roscommon, Luke continued to strive towards environmental and social reform. He also remained in the headlines, on one occasion for refusing to lead the prayers before a Council meeting as he is a non-believer and felt it would be hypocritical.

In 2011 Flanagan won a Dail seat in the Roscommon-South Leitrim constituency, receiving 8,925 first preference votes. Joining the government coalition has not diluted his ideals and he continues to be very outspoken on the political circuit. As well as taking a 50% pay cut upon election, he supports the cutting of turf from raised bogs despite an EU ban, and is also one of nine TDs refusing to pay the proposed Household Tax as outlined in the 2012 budget. He has however vowed not to smoke cannabis in Ireland after complaints were made about his usage to the Garda Siochanna.

Two documentaries have been made about the Roscommon man, Dole Eireann and The Life and Crimes of Citizen Ming.