He was first elected in 1989 to the Seanad on the Cultural and Educational Panel. Joe O'Reilly was elected to Seanad Éireann (Industrial and Commercial Panel) in July 2007. He was appointed Fine Gael Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources in October 2007.
Some other facts on Joe: Joe started his career as a primary school teacher and his favourite class to teach was 5th class. He founded the Bailieborough Mental Health Association and is the current chairman. Joe enjoys doing stand up comedy and commentated on the 2010 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bailieborough. His favourite film is Slumdog Millionaire.