Mairead is a native of Ardee, Co. Louth, from a strong Fine Gael family.
Mairead aged 3
Mairead was educated locally at the Convent of Mercy National School and Ardee Community School.
Mairead in 6th Year at Ardee Community School
Mairead graduating from UCD
Mairead was the first female graduate of UCD’s Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics in 1980. She is remembered for her very lively contributions to the Agricultural Society, especially in her capacity as imaginative and creative recording secretary.
Mairead begins her career as a radio producer for RTÉ
She began her career in journalism in RTÉ immediately after college. She worked initially as radio producer and later in research on the Late Late Show. Later Mairead became well known as a presenter and the key driving force behind the highly successful Ear to the Ground series.
A long career in journalism followed
Mairead, Chairperson of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists
Mairead served two terms as Chairperson of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists and successfully developed the guild as an important network for those in food and farming communications.
In print journalism she was the highly respected editor of the Farming Independent for seven years. Leading a strong team, she positioned this paper as the major independent voice in the agricultural sector.
Mairead presented the Ear to the Ground series, still running on RTÉ
Mairead entered politics in 2004, when she was elected to the European Parliament.
Mairead pictured with husband Tom Duff and their four children, Orlaith, James, Áine and Cathal.