Darragh Ballíck

Darragh Ballíck

Martin McGuinness MLA.jpg
Leader of His Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition
In office
28 June 2012 – 19 June 2017
MonarchKenneth IV
DeputyStiofán Mac Suibhne
Succeeded byStiofán Mac Suibhne
Leader of the Social Democrats
In office
28 June 2012 – 13 June 2017
DeputyStiofán Mac Suibhne
Succeeded byStiofán Mac Suibhne
Teachta Comhthionól
for Spálgleann North
Assumed office
12 June 1997
Personal details
Born
Darragh Calvin Ballíck

(1950-05-23) 23 May 1950 (age 70)
Spálgleann, Caldia
Political partySocial Democrats
Alma materKing's University Bulfawst
Military service
Branch/serviceGaldish Army

Darragh Seamus Ballíck (23 May 1950) is a Caldish politician and formerly the Leader of the Social Democrats. He has been the Teachta Comhthionól (TC) for Spálgleann North since 1997. Before entering politics, he was an accountant.

Since his tenure as party leader began on 28 June 2012 following a vote by SDs TCs, Ballíck has continued the trend of moving the party further to the left. Commentators say this is the direct result of the centrist tendencies of Taoiseach Alexis Walker and the policies implemented under her administration. This has most recently been reflected in the party's 2016 platform, which was unveiled at the SDs in Shanbally Conference. He introduced new stances such as a commitment to decrease oil production and promote green energy abroad, a reduction of nuclear power in favor of replacing it with wind and solar power, and a commitment to building a new "comprehensive, well rounded welfare state with a safety net for all".

After strengthening ties with the Green Party, he oversaw the negotiations that led to the forming of the Red-Green Alliance, an electoral between Ballíck's Social Democrats and the Greens. During the campaign for the 2017 Comhthionól election, a series of gaffes hampered his ability to campaign. While at a campaign event in Shanbally, Ballíck was egged by union affiliated protesters. He was also caught saying he was "tired of dealing with [union] nonsense". The Caldish National Trade Congress declined to comment on the situations, but the Social Democrats received bad press. Labour Party leader Ivan Melnikov accused Ballíck of being a "faux socialist" on the campaign trail and met with the leadership of three of Caldia's most prominent unions. The Social Democrats initially dismissed this, but the Union of Seamen and Shipbuilder's Federation endorsed the Labour Party and in a joint statement accused Ballíck of isolating organized labor in favor of environmentalist policies.

Personal life

Darragh Ballíck was born to Niall Ballíck, a worker in a textile factory, and Nancy Mulligan, a schoolteacher, on 23 May 1950. He was born in Spálgleann. He was the youngest of five children. His family was part of the industrial class and his father had extensive involvement in the labor movement and often campaigned on behalf of Social Democratic candidates in Spálgleann.

Darragh was the only one of his siblings to attend university, while his four older brothers all went to trade schools and entered the industrial workforce. After serving two years in the army, he studied at King's University Shanbally and graduated with a business degree in accounting.

He has never married and has no children. Ballíck is an agnostic atheist.