Mark was born in 1960, the youngest of seven children and brought up in Derry by his late mother, Isobel, following the death of his father in a road accident in 1961.
- Mark met his wife, Jackie in 1984, when they were both working for John Hume. They have one daughter, Dearbháil, who is 14 years old.
- Mark studied at St. Columb’s College in Derry and then went on to do politics at Queen's University, Belfast. He was elected Deputy President of the Students’ Union before moving to Dublin as Deputy President of USI in 1982-84. Mark lived with friends on Aberdeen Street and Great Western Square.
Legislator, Minister, Reformer and Human Rights Campaigner
- Mark was a key SDLP negotiator of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA). He was appointed Minister for Finance in the first executive in the Northern Ireland assembly. Subsequently, he became Deputy First Minister. SDLP Leader 2001-2010.
- Acute insight on the EU’S transformative contribution to Ireland included working with Michel Barnier on Peace and cross-border funds.
- Mark succeeded John Hume as SDLP MP for Foyle, 2005-2017.
- The authentic voice of Mark Durkan in the House of Commons during Brexit debates can become a unique asset in the next European Parliament when it oversees and ratifies negotiations on future EU-UK relations.
- His driving commitment is not just to the Good Friday Agreement but to deploy its North-South and British-Irish frameworks in responding to the challenges posed by Brexit for crucial sectors and public interests throughout Ireland, not least in Dublin.
- Brexit is not the only grave test facing Europe. Attempts may be made in the next Parliament to erode EU social rights and environmental responsibility. Mark Durkan’s record as a principled legislator and effective cross-party campaigner shows he has the vision and values to represent the people of Dublin in the face of populism and Eurosceptism.
- Diverse legislative and campaigning roles, e.g. pensions, banking reform, credit unions, health, child refugees, modern slavery, human rights, climate change and sustainable development goals point to experience, principles and problem solving skills which will serve Dublin and Ireland well in the most crucial next mandate of the European Parliament.