Dana Rosemary Scallon, formerly Dana (born August 30, 1951), is a successful former singer turned Irish politician.
Scallon was born Rosemary Brown in Derry in Northern Ireland. In 1970 as a teenager she represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest, singing "All Kinds of Everything", and brought home the country's first victory in the contest. She had some minor hits in the British and Irish music charts subsequently. Always religious, she became more famous for singing religious songs, such as "Totus Tuus", commemorating the visit of Pope John Paul II to Ireland in 1979.
In the 1980s, she moved with her husband, Damien Scallon, and family to the United States, where they were involved with a Christian broadcasting network. She returned to Ireland in 1997 to become a candidate for the office of president of Ireland where, though an independent candidate with no party political organisation behind her, she came in a credible third, ahead of the candidate of the mainstream Labour Party. In 1999, again as an independent, she contested and won a seat in the European Parliament representing the Connacht-Ulster European elections constituency.
She has declined to associate with any political party. She campaigns on 'family values', most notably in her opposition to abortion. Her decision in 1999 to oppose a government proposed amendment to the Irish constitution to place some restrictions on abortion, which put her at variance with mainstream Pro-Life movement in Ireland, the mainstream political parties and the Roman Catholic Church, on the basis that in her eyes the anti-abortion amendment wasn't anti-abortion enough, lost her much of her original support. The defeat of that amendment was blamed on ultra-conservative elements, who were accused by other anti-abortion campaigners of destroying the likely last chance to impose stricter abortion restrictions in Ireland.
In 2002, Scallon contested a seat in the Irish general election, again as an independent. In what was seen as a backlash against her stance in the previous abortion referendum, she lost disastrously, humiliatingly losing her deposit. Many political pundits predict that she will lose her European Parliament seat when in the next European election the number of Irish seats is reduced from fifteen to thirteen. This change is predicted to lead to a change in constituency structures, with part of her base moved to the Leinster euro-constituency and the Fianna Fáil heartland of Clare moved into her electoral area, so increasing the odds on Fianna Fáil winning a second seat at her expense.