Showing 150 results

Authority record

Casement, Sir Roger

  • 0000008
  • Person
  • 1864-1916

Sir Roger David Casement, humanitarian and Irish nationalist.

Lester, Seán

  • 0000001
  • Person
  • 1888-1959

John Ernest Lester was born on 27 September 1888 in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, to Robert John Lester and Henrietta Mary Lester (née Ritchie). The Lesters owned a grocery shop on the Ormeau Road, Belfast, and Seán attended the Methodist College in Belfast until the age of 14 when he began working for the Belfast & County Down Railway in Bangor. Due to being colour-blind, he was forced to leave his railway job and began a career in journalism with the unionist North Down Herald newspaper in 1905, where one of his colleagues was Ernest Blythe. In the next few years he would go on to work for several newspapers including the Dublin Evening Mail, the Dublin Daily Express, and the Galway Connaught Tribune. During this period, he developed an interest in Irish nationalism and politics, Lester joined the Gaelic League, and subsequently the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1908 and Sinn Féin in 1909. It was around this time Lester changed his name to Seán. Lester was with Eóin MacNeill in 1916 when the Rising began and therefore did not take part in the fighting. He began working at the Freeman's Journal that year as chief reporter and then as news editor covering the ensuing significant years which saw the War of Independence, foundation of the Irish Free State, and Civil War.

Lester's friend and previous colleague, Ernest Blythe, who was by now Minister for Finance, suggested that Lester should join the Department of External Affairs, and thus in 1923, Lester took Blythe up on his suggestion and began working as Director of Publicity. He quickly rose up the ranks to the third highest position in the department, and in 1929, was chosen to act as Ireland's Permanent Delegate to the League of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Despite his reservations about his age (he took up his post at the age of forty), not being able to speak any languages other than English or Irish, or that he had never been abroad before, Lester quickly established himself as a diplomat of note in Geneva and worked towards getting the Irish Free State elected onto the influential League Council, which he achieved in 1930. His distinguished work for the Council and with various League committees in the following years led to his being seconded from the Irish service to the position of High Commissioner of the League of Nations in Danzig [Gdansk, Poland] in 1933.

As High Commissioner, Lester came under increasing pressure over the next few years to maintain the authority of the League of Nations in the region, as the Nazis gradually gained more and more power. Following an increasing policy of intimidation and undermining of Lester’s authority by the Nazis, which included placing guards around his house and questioning those who visited him, Lester was promoted to Deputy Secretary General of the League of Nations in Geneva and left Danzig in December 1936.

With the outbreak of the Second World War, Lester struggled to keep the League headquarters in Geneva running as its staff and resources were slashed, various sections were moved to Princeton, USA, and Montreal, Canada, and the pro-Nazi Secretary General, Joseph Avenol, resigned and left for Vichy France in August 1940. Lester then assumed the role of Acting Secretary General of the League, and courageously held out in Geneva with a skeleton staff and limited resources until the end of the war. At the final assembly of the League in April 1946, he was awarded the title of Secretary General, retrospective from 1940. His final task as Secretary General was to formally dissolve the League and dispose of its assets.

Lester returned to Ireland and retired initially to County Wicklow and then to Recess, County Galway, where he indulged his passion for fishing and spent the remainder of his days. He had received the Woodrow Wilson award in 1945 for his courageous service to the League of Nations during the war, and received honorary doctorates from Dublin University and the National University of Ireland in 1947.

Morris, Henry

  • 0000002
  • Person
  • 1874-1945

Henry Morris was a writer and Irish scholar, born on 14 January 1874 in Lisdoonan, Donaghmoyne, Co. Monaghan, Ireland. Morris was a teacher and school inspector for the Department of Education, collector of 18th and 19th century Irish manuscripts, and involved in the revival of Irish language and antiquarian studies.

Kenny, Colum

  • 0000005
  • Person
  • 1951-

Columcille Joseph Kenny was born on 7 March 1951 in Dublin to Michael B Kenny and Eileen Kenny (née Morgan). Colum studied law and qualified as a Barrister-at-Law before working at RTÉ from 1977 to 1982 as a current affairs reporter and producer. Colum joined the School of Communications at the National Institute for Higher Education Dublin [now Dublin City University (DCU)] in 1982. He is a former chair of DCU’s Masters in Journalism programme and is currently Professor Emeritus.

Colum was a member of the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland/Independent Radio and Television Commission from 1998 to 2003, and was a member of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland from 2010 to 2015. He was a founding board member of the European Union Media Desk in Ireland, and appointed a member of the Irish government's Media Mergers Advisory Group in 2008. He was also elected an honorary bencher of King's Inns in 2017. Colum is a long-standing journalist and author, and a regular columnist with national Irish newspapers.

Kenny, Michael

  • 0000007
  • Person
  • 1919-1992

Michael [?Brendan] Kenny was born on 29 September 1919 to Kevin J Kenny and Annette Kenny (née Murphy). He attended school at the Dominican Convent in Wicklow Town, Wicklow; Loreto College, North Great George’s Street, Dublin; Belvedere College, Dublin, and Clongowes Wood College, Clane, Kildare.

He worked at Kenny’s Advertising Agency and became managing-director of the agency when his father Kevin J Kenny died in 1954. Like his father, Michael was a leading figure in the Irish advertising sector and was involved in numerous professional bodies. At various points throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, he was president of the Institute of Advertising Practitioners; president of the Irish Association of Advertisers; president of the Irish Association of Advertising Agencies, and chair of the Publicity Club of Ireland. Like his father, Michael was an active member of the Dublin Rotary (he was elected president of the Rotary Club of Dun Laoghaire in 1973), was a Knight of Saint Columbanus, and served as Portuguese Consul to Ireland for a period.

In 1963, Michael oversaw the move of Kenny’s Advertising Agency from Abbey Street to new premises in Lower Baggot Street, Dublin. His eldest son Stuart succeeded him as managing director of the agency in 1974.

Michael was a keen golfer and cricketer, and was president of Dun Laoghaire Bowling Club at one point. He was a member of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association from 1935 until his death.

Michael married Eileen Morgan in 1942 and they had four children: Stuart, Brendan, Colum and May. Michael died on 5 September 1992 in Dalkey, Dublin.

Whelan, Noel

  • 0000014
  • Person
  • 1968 - 2019

Noel Whelan was a barrister, political analyst, writer and adviser for the Fianna Fáil party, born 24 November 1968 in Wexford.

Killilea, Mark

  • 0000021
  • Person
  • 1939 – 2018

Mark Killilea Junior was a farmer, auctioneer and politician, born 5 September 1939 in Tuam, Galway. He served as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála, a Member of the European Parliament and as a Senator on the Labour Panel of Seanad Éireann.

Daly, Brendan

  • 0000022
  • Person
  • 1940-

Brendan Daly was an Irish politician born 2 February 1940 in Cooraclare, Clare. He was a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for the Clare constituency, a government minister, and Senator on the Agricultural Panel and the Labour Panel in Seanad Éireann.

Coughlan, Clement

  • 0000023
  • Person
  • 1942-1983

Clement Coughlan was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician and school teacher born 14 August 1942 in Donegal. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1980 as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for Donegal.

Delap, Patrick

  • 0000026
  • Person
  • 1932-1987

Patrick Delap was an Irish politician and medical doctor born 17 March 1932. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1970 as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for the Donegal–Leitrim constituency.

Dunne, Veronica

  • 0000028
  • Person
  • 1927-2021

Veronica Dunne was an Irish operatic soprano and voice teacher, born 2 August 1927 in Dublin.

Andrews, David

  • 0000030
  • Person
  • 1935-

David Andrews was an Irish politician born 15 March 1935 in Clonskeagh, Dublin. He was first elected as a Teachta Dála for Fianna Fáil in 1965 for the Dún Laoghaire and Rathdown constituency. He served as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Defence, Minister for the Marine, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, and Government Chief Whip and Minister of State at the Department of Defence.

Mansergh, Martin

  • 0000032
  • Person
  • 1946-

Dr Martin George Southcote Manseragh is an Irish politician and academic born 31 December 1946 in Working, Surrey, England. He entered the Department of Foreign Affairs, being appointed a Third secretary in 1974 and became a First Secretary in 1977. He worked for the Fianna Fáil party as Director of Research, Policy and Special Advisor on Northern Ireland. He was elected to the 22nd Seanad by the Agricultural Panel in September 2002. In 2007 he was elected as a Teachta Dála for Fianna Fáil in the Tipperary South constituency.

Hederman, Anthony

  • 0000016
  • Person
  • 1921 – 2014

Anthony J Hederman was an Irish judge and barrister born 11 August 1921 in Naas, Kildare. He served as Judge of the Supreme Court from 1981 to 1993 and Attorney General of Ireland from 1977 to 1981.

Reynolds, Albert

  • 0000018
  • Person
  • 1932–2014

Reynolds, Albert Martin (1932–2014), businessman, politician and taoiseach, was born in Roosky, Co. Roscommon, on 3 November 1932, youngest of four children of John P. Reynolds and his wife Catherine (née Dillon) from Cloone, Co. Leitrim. From 1971–4, Reynolds was an elected member of the Fianna Fáil National Executive, and director of elections for Longford in the 1973 general election. In 1974, he won the nomination of Fianna Fáil’s party election convention for local election and became TD of the Longford-Westmeath constituency. He was appointed Minister for Posts and Telegraphs and later for Transport. Between 1979 and 1991 in four administrations led by Haughey, Reynolds always occupied an economics ministry. Between 1979 and 1991 in four administrations led by Haughey, Reynolds always occupied an economics ministry. In the 1987 general election, Fianna Fáil won three out of four seats in Longford–Westmeath, strengthening Reynolds’s position in the party, and gave the midlands constituency two cabinet ministers till 1991, though the third seat was lost in 1989. Reynolds was appointed Minister for Industry and Commerce, and in 1988 became Minister for Finance. He succeeded Charles Haughey as Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil on the 11 February 1992. After the Labour Party resigned from government in November 1994, Reynolds resigned as leader of Fianna Fáil, but remained taoiseach in a caretaker capacity, while Berite Ahern attempted to re-form the Fianna Fáil–Labour government before later resigning as taoiseach. As ex-taoiseach he continued to be a member of the Council of State, and Reynolds remained a TD till 2002. He died on 21 August 2014, and was buried in Shanganagh Cemetery in south Dublin.

By Martin Mansergh, Dictionary of Irish Biography (2021) DOI:

Molloy, Robert

  • 0000036
  • Person
  • 1936-2016

Robert "Bobby" Molloy was an Irish politician born in Galway on 9 July 1936. He was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil TD for the Galway West constituency in 1965. In 1968, he was also elected Mayor of Galway. He served as Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal, Minister of State to the Government, Minister for Energy, Minister for Defence, Minister for Local Government, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education.

Wallace, Dan

  • 0000041
  • Person
  • 1942-

Dan Wallace, Irish politician was born 14 June 1942 in Cork. He served for almost twenty five years as Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) for the Cork North-Central constituency.

Flynn, Pádraig

  • 0000039
  • Person
  • 1939-

Pádraig Flynn, Irish Fianna Fáil politician, was born 9 May 1939 in Castlebar, Mayo. He served as a Teachta Dála for the Mayo West constituency from 1977 to 1994, and also served as European Commissioner for Social Affairs from 1993 to 1999, Minister for Industry and Commerce and Minister for Justice from 1992 to 1993, Minister for the Environment from 1987 to 1991, Minister for Trade, Commerce and Tourism from October 1982 to December 1982, Minister for the Gaeltacht from March 1982 to October 1982 and Minister of State at the Department of Transport from 1980 to 1981.

Cronin, Anthony

  • 0000040
  • Person
  • 1923-2016

Anthony Gerard Richard Cronin was an Irish poet, arts activist, biographer, commentator, critic, editor and cultural advisor to Taoiseach, Charles J Haughey.

Delors, Jacques

  • 0000038
  • Person
  • 1925-

Jacques Lucien Jean Delors, born July 20, 1925, in Paris, France, was a French statesman who was president of the European Commission, the executive body of the European Community from 1985 to 1995. Delors joined the Socialist Party in 1974 and in 1976 became the party’s national delegate for international economic relations. In 1979 he was elected to the European Parliament, where he served as chairman of the economic and monetary committee. In 1981 President François Mitterrand appointed Delors minister of economics and finance. Delors left government to become the president of the European Commission in 1985. He revitalized the EC, pushing through reforms and overseeing the entry into force of both the Single European Act (1987) and the Maastricht Treaty (1993), the latter of which created the EU.

Haughey, Seán

  • 0000042
  • Person
  • 1961-

Seán Haughey, Irish politician, was born 8 November 1961 in Raheny, Dublin. Son of Taoiseach, Charles J Haughey, and Maureen Haughey (neé Lemass). He became a Senator for the Administrative Panel from 1987 to 1992. He has been a Teachta Dála for the Dublin Bay North constituency since 2016, and previously from 1992 to 2011 for the Dublin North-Central constituency. He previously served as Minister of State for Lifelong Learning and School Transport from 2007 to 2011, Minister of State for Adult Education, Youth Affairs and Educational Disadvantage from 2006 to 2007 and Lord Mayor of Dublin from 1989 to 1990.

Honan, Tras

  • 0000037
  • Person
  • 1930-

Tras Honan (neé Barlow) was an Irish politician born in Dublin in 4 January 1930. In 1977, she was elected to the 14th Seanad as a Fianna Fáil candidate on the Administrative Panel. In 1982 she was elected Cathaoirleach of the 16th Seanad, the first woman to hold the post. In 1983, in the 17th Seanad, she was elected as Leas-Chathaoirleach, and in 1987, in the 18th Seanad, she was re-elected as Cathaoirleach.

Hillery, Patrick

  • 0000044
  • Person
  • 1923 - 2008

Dr Patrick John Hillery was born on 2 May 1923, in Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare. Hillery attended University College Dublin, where he qualified with a degree in medicine. In 1951 he was elected to Dáil Éireann for the constituency of Clare as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála, and he received his first Government appointment as Minister for Education in 1959. He subsequently served in a number of ministerial posts (Industry and Commerce, Labour and Foreign Affairs) prior to his appointment in 1973 as Vice President of the then Commission of the European Communities, with special responsibility for Social Affairs. He served as Commissioner until 1976, when he was inaugurated as President of Ireland on 3 December, 1976. He died on 12th April 2008, following a short illness.

MacEntee, Seán

  • 0000046
  • Person
  • 1889-1984

Seán Francis MacEntee was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who served as Tánaiste from 1959 to 1969, Minister for Social Welfare from 1957 to 1961, Minister for Health from 1957 to 1965, Minister for Local Government and Public Health from 1941 to 1948, Minister for Industry and Commerce from 1939 to 1941, Minister for Finance from 1932 to 1939 and 1951 to 1954. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1918 to 1969.

Costigan, Daniel

  • 0000045
  • Person
  • 1911-1979

Daniel Costigan was a civil servant and Garda commissioner.

O'Malley, Donogh

  • 0000047
  • Person
  • 1921-1968

Donogh O'Malley was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician and rugby union player who served as Minister for Education from 1966 to 1968, Minister for Health from 1965 to 1966 and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance from 1961 to 1965. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Limerick East constituency from 1954 to 1968.

Blaney, Neil

  • 0000012
  • Person
  • 1922-1995

Neil Terence Columba Blaney was born in Rossnakill, County Donegal on 1 October 1922, the eldest of the eleven children of Neal (Neil) Blaney, TD, and his wife, Nora (née Sweeney). He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1948 as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála representing Donegal East. Blaney served as Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (1957), Minister for Local Government (1957–1966) and Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries (1966–1970). In an incident known as the Arms Crisis, Blaney, along with Charles J Haughey, was sacked from Taoiseach Jack Lynch's cabinet amid allegations of the use of funds to import arms for use by the Irish Republican Army. Haughey and Blaney were subsequently tried in court along with an army Officer, Captain James Kelly, and Albert Luykx, a Belgian businessman who allegedly used his contacts to buy the arms. At trial, all the accused were acquitted. Although Blaney was cleared of wrongdoing, his ministerial career was brought to an end. Following his expulsion from the Fianna Fáil party, Blayney contested all subsequent elections for Independent Fianna Fáil – The Republican Party, an organisation that he built up, chiefly in the County Donegal constituencies from disaffected members of the Fianna Fáil party who remained loyal to him along with a large number of Republicans. Blaney contracted cancer from which he died at the age of 73 on 8 November 1995.

Haughey, Charles

  • 0000003
  • Person
  • 1925-2006

Charles James Haughey, politician and taoiseach, was born in Castlebar, Mayo, on 16 September 1925.

O'Donoghue, David

  • 0000004
  • Person
  • 1952-

Dr David O'Donoghue is an Irish journalist and historian who has written two books on Irish-German relations during the Second World War.

Kenny, Kevin

  • 0000006
  • Person
  • 1881-1954

Kevin John Kenny was born on 22 June 1881 at 12 Upper Dorset Street, Dublin. His father,Michael was a veteran of the Fenian Rising of 1867 and worked as a lithographic printer, and his mother, Catherine, worked as a bookfolder. Kevin left school early and started working as an advertising agent at the age of thirteen for the Irish Wheelman, a cycling publication. In 1902 he became the manager of the Leader newspaper, edited by DP Moran, and published the Irish Manufacturers' Directory with MF Phelan. He also established his own advertising firm, K. J. Kenny and Co., around this time. In 1908, he helped establish and was business manager for The Nationist, edited by Tom Kettle, and in the same year co-founded The Nationalist with Frank Gallagher, PJ Little and Joseph Mary Plunkett.

Kevin founded Kenny's Advertising Agency (KAA), based at Middle Abbey Street, Dublin, in 1906. KAA would go on to become one of the leading advertising agencies in Ireland. As part of his work at the agency, Kevin solicited advertising and worked on publications with several eminent nationalists in the years leading up to and following the 1916 Easter Rising, including Patrick Pearse, Arthur Griffith, Francis Sheehy-Skeffington and James Creed Meredith (see sub-series C2/1/1/1). Kevin also ran a printing business, Kenny’s Press, which possibly printed many of these publications. Any particular political sympathies indicated by these services did not prevent Kenny's Advertising Agency from accepting commissions from the British government to run a series of recruitment advertisements during the First World War (see sub-series C2/1/1/2); nor, it would seem, did they prevent Kevin from circulating public notices on behalf of the British government (see sub-series C2/1/1/4). Kenny's Advertising Agency would continue this type of service on behalf of the First and Second Dáils as shown in material included in the following sub-series: C2/1/1/1, C2/1/1/3 and C2/1/1/4.

Running an advertising business during such tumultuous times and providing a service for clients on both sides of the political divide meant that the work of Kenny's Advertising Agency often came in for criticism and scrutiny from various parties. This can be seen in the recruitment advertisements sub-series (C2/1/1/2), and in the subseries relating to the Belfast Boycott (C2/1/1/3) when Kenny's ran advertisements for 'Lamb's of Inchicore', whose potential presence on a boycott blacklist had to be established by the 'Belfast Trade Boycott Central Committee'.

Outside of the advertising agency, Kevin was involved in numerous professional, Catholic and charitable organisations: he was a founding member of the Publicity Club of Ireland and the Irish Association of Advertising Agencies, and was a leading member of the Catholic Association and general treasurer of the Knights of Saint Columbanus. He was elected president of Dublin Rotary in 1931 and served as the chair of the Children’s Fresh Air Fund during the 1930s.

Kevin was also active in public life: he served as the honorary vice-consul for Chile to Ireland, and later served as honorary vice-consul for Portugal [item C2/1/2/1/3 in the fonds relates to the awarding of the Portuguese rank of Cavaleiro of the Military Order of Christ to Kenny in 1948]. Kevin also ran as an independent for Dublin North in the 1923 general election, but was not elected.

Kevin married Annette Murphy in 1910 and they had five children: Kevin, Kathleen, Colum, Maura and Michael. Kevin died on 14 September 1954 in Glasnevin, Dublin.

Hussey, Frank

  • 0000009
  • Person
  • [?1926-1961]

Frank P Hussey was a member of the teaching staff of the faculty of agriculture at UCD [University College Dublin].

Lemass, Seán

  • 0000010
  • Person
  • 1899–1971

Seán Francis Lemass, a Irish revolutionary, politician, and taoiseach, was born 15 July 1899 in Norwood Cottage, Ballybrack, Dublin. After serving as a young Volunteer in the 1916 Rising, and escaping deportation, he worked in the family drapery shop on Capel Street, Dublin, for some time, before rejoining the Volunteers as a full-time officer. Following his arrest in 1920, he was interned in Ballykinlar, Down, for a year. He opposed the Treaty, fought in the Four Courts during the Civil War, and was subsequently interned in the Curragh Camp, Kildare and Mountjoy Jail, Dublin. Upon release, he turned to the political side of the republican movement and was elected TD for Dublin South in 1924 but abstained from taking his seat. Influential in founding the Fianna Fáil Party in 1926, he was appointed Minster for Industry and Commerce, when the party entered government in 1932. During the Emergency (1941–5), his portfolio expanded to cover the Ministry of Supplies. In 1945, Éamon de Valera nominated him as Tánaiste, and he succeeded de Valera as Taoiseach in 1959, staying in office until 1966. Lemass is remembered for building up Ireland's industry and infrastructure and founded many state bodies to achieve this such as Bord na Móna, Aer Lingus and Irish Shipping.

Lynch, John

  • 0000011
  • Person
  • 1917-1999

John Mary "Jack" Lynch was an Irish politician, sportsperson, and taoiseach, born 15 August 1917 in Shandon, Cork. He began practising as a barrister in Cork in 1945, and in the February 1958 general election, he topped the poll for the Cork Borough constituency and became a Fianna Fáil TD in the 13th Dáil. Under the party leadership of Éamon de Valera, he was appointed a researcher and a secretary to the parliamentary party, and in 1951 he was made parliamentary secretary to the government with special responsibility for the Gaeltacht, an appointment that enabled him to attend cabinet meetings. After the 1957 general election, Fianna Fáil returned to power and Lynch joined the government as Minister for Education. In 1959, Seán Lemass succeeded de Valera as Taoiseach, and Lynch was promoted to his role as Minister for Industry and Commerce, and after the election of April 1965, Lemass chose him to succeed James Ryan as Minister for Finance. On Lemass's retirement in 1966, despite some initial reluctance to run, Lynch defeated George Collery in the ballot and became Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil on 10 November 1966. He served as Taoiseach until 1973, and returned for a second term in 1977 until his resignation as taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil on 5 December 1979. He died 20 October 1999 in the Royal Hospital, Donnybrook, Dublin.

O'Hanlon, Rory

  • 0000013
  • Person
  • 1934 -

Rory O'Hanlon is an Irish politician and Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann, born 7 February 1934 in Dublin. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1977 as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála representing Cavan-Monaghan. O'Hanlon served as Ceann Comhairle, Leas-Cheann Comhairle, Minister for Health and Minister for the Environment.

Collins, Gerard

  • 0000015
  • Person
  • 1938 -

Gerard Collins is an Irish politician was born 16 October 1938 in Abbeyfeale, County Limerick. He was elected to Dáil Éireann as Teachta Dáil for Fianna Fáil representing Limerick West. Collins served as Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, Minister for Justice, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Minister for Justice.

McLaughlin, Patrick

  • 0000017
  • Person
  • 1921-2004

Patrick McLoughlin joined the Garda Síochána in 1943, and served as Garda Commissioner from January 1978 to January 1983.

Colley, George

  • 0000019
  • Person
  • 1925–1983

George Joseph Pearse Colley was born in Dublin on 18 October 1925. He qualified as a solicitor in 1948. From 1949 to 1954 he was a partner in Colley and Moylan solicitors, and from 1954 to 1965 practised as George J. Colley & Co. Colley became Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin North East in 1961. He was re-elected in 1965, for Dublin North Central in 1969 and 1973, for Clontarf in 1977, and for Dublin Central in 1981 and in the two general elections of 1982.) In 1964 Colley became parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Lands, and in 1965 became Minister for Education, and later minister for Industry and Commerce. On Charles Haughey's dismissal from the cabinet in April 1970 Colley became Minister for Finance (retaining responsibility for the Gaeltacht). He oversaw preparations for decimal currency and participated effectively in the negotiations surrounding Ireland's entry into the EEC. On Fianna Fáil's return to power in 1977 Colley became Minister for Finance and Tánaiste. That same year he chaired the boards of governors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Monetary Fund. Colley remained deputy leader following the party's narrow defeat in the June 1981 general election. After Fianna Fáil failed to win an overall majority in February 1982 he participated in abortive attempts to overthrow Haughey; he was refused reappointment as tánaiste, turned down the Department of Education, and retired to the backbenches. Colley had a lifelong commitment to the Irish language and Gaeltacht development; during his ministerial responsibility for the Gaeltacht he established Raidio na Gaeltachta. On 7 September 1983, Colley suffered a major heart attack. He received emergency surgery, but died 17 September 1983.

By Patrick Maume, Dictionary of Irish Biography (2009) DOI:

Lenihan, Brian

  • 0000020
  • Person
  • 1930–1995

Brian Joseph Lenihan was born 17 November 1930 in Dundalk, Louth. After unsuccessfully contesting Longford–Westmeath for Fianna Fáil in the 1954 general election, he switched to the Roscommon constituency, where he built a base by service on the county council and the vocational education committee (both 1955–61). Succeeding his father on the Fianna Fáil national executive, he was among the youthful activists who assisted Seán Lemass in a thoroughgoing reform of the party's organisation. After serving on the industrial and commercial panel in Seanad Éireann (1957–61), he was elected on his third attempt to Dáil Éireann, and commenced a twelve-year tenure (Roscommon (1961–9), Roscommon–Leitrim (1969–73)). After Donogh O'Malley's sudden death (March 1968), Lenihan succeeded him as Minister for Education (1968–9), and later became Minister for Transport and Power (1969–73). Losing his Dáil seat amid Fianna Fáil's defeat in the 1973 general election, Lenihan served as Fianna Fáil leader in the Seanad (1973–7), and was campaign manager for Erskine Childers (qv) (1905–74) during the latter's successful candidacy in the 1973 presidential election. An appointed member of the European parliament (1973–7), he led the Fianna Fáil delegation, and helped forge the party's lasting alliance with the French Gaullists. Having moved residence in 1971 from the Athlone area to 24 Parkview, Castleknock, Co. Dublin, he served on Dublin county council (1974–7). Topping the poll in the 1977 general election, he commenced an eighteen-year tenure as TD for Dublin County West (1977–81) and Dublin West (1981–95). On Fianna Fáil's return to power as a minority government in March 1987, Lenihan became tánaiste and minister for foreign affairs (1987–9). Throughout the Fianna Fáil and Progressive Democrats coalition's tenure he was chairman of the oireachtas joint committee on foreign affairs (May 1993–January 1995), and occasionally acted behind the scenes to facilitate the Northern Ireland peace process. Five weeks after hospitalisation with an acute illness, he died 1 November 1995 in the Mater Misericordiae hospital, Dublin.

By Lawrence William White, (2009) Dictionary of Irish Biography DOI:

Burke, Ray

  • 0000024
  • Person
  • 1943-

Raphael "Ray" Patrick Burke, politician, was born 30 September 1943 in Dublin. He served as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála from 1973 to 1997. He served as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Justice, Minister for Communications, Minister for Industry and Commerce, Minister for Energy, Minister for the Environment, and Minister of State at the Department of Industry, Commerce and Energy.

MacBride, Seán

  • 0000025
  • Person
  • 1904-1988

Seán MacBride, lawyer and politician, was born in Paris on 26 January 1904. MacBride spent his early years in France with his mother, Maud Gonne, and received his first education at the Jesuit college of St Louis de Gonzague in Paris. In April 1916 his father was executed for his part in the Easter rising in Dublin. MacBride was enrolled at the age of fourteen as a boarder at Mount St Benedict in Co. Wexford. He became a member of Fianna Éireann, the junior branch of the IRA, at the age of fourteen, and at the age of sixteen, having lied about his age, was admitted to the IRA itself during the Anglo-Irish war (Irish War of Independence,1919–21). He was invited by Michael Collins to accompany him to London for the Anglo–Irish treaty negotiations from October to December 1921.He remained a member of the IRA during and after the civil war of 1922–23 and became its chief of staff in 1936–37, severing his formal ties because he believed the 1937 constitution met republican objectives.

MacBride became a senior counsel in 1943. He continued to be counsel for the defendant in criminal cases, and he defended a number of IRA members. Shortly after the end of World War II he became immersed in active politics as one of the founders in 1946 of a new party, Clann na Poblachta, of which he was to be the leader. In three by-elections held in October 1947, Clann na Poblachta won two seats from Fianna Fáil, with MacBride himself being returned for Co. Dublin. As Minister for External Affairs he was involved in the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation and the Council of Europe and in the drafting of the Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom. MacBride was closely involved in the Irish application for financial assistance from the United States under the Marshall Plan designed to encourage European recovery in the post-war period. He was also the negotiator on behalf of the sixteen applicant nations. Early in 1957 the party withdrew its support from the government, and in the general election which followed (5 March) MacBride lost his seat (though Clann na Poblachta won three seats). He failed to be elected in two by-elections (Dublin south-central 1958 and Dublin south west 1959) and in the 1961 general election. He never stood for the dáil again. Clann na Poblachta was dissolved in 1965. MacBride had returned to practice at the bar in 1951 and appeared in a number of notable cases in subsequent years. He became the chairman of Amnesty International’s executive committee in 1961. In 1963 he left the bar to serve as the full-time secretary general of the International Commission of Jurists based in Geneva. MacBride died 15 January 1988, at the age of eighty-three.

By Ronan Keane, Dictionary of Irish Biography (2009) Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 4.0 International license DOI:

Conaghan, Hugh

  • 0000027
  • Person
  • 1926-2020

Hugh Conaghan was an Irish politician born 6 May 1926 in Donegal. He was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) for the Donegal constituency in 1977.

Woods, Michael

  • 0000029
  • Person
  • 1935-

Michael Woods was born in County Wicklow on 8 December 1935. He was elected to Dáil Éireann in 1977 as a Teachta Dála for Fianna Fáil for the Dublin Clontarf constituency. He served as Government Chief Whip, Minister for Social Welfare, Minister for Health, Minister for Agriculture and Food, Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources and Minister for Education and Science.

Tunney, James

  • 0000031
  • Person
  • 1924-2002

James “Jim” Tunney, politician, was born 25 December 1924 in Finglas, Co. Dublin. In 1963 he joined Fianna Fáil and was invited to stand in Dublin North-West in the general election of 1965, but failed to take a second seat for his party. Elected to Dublin city council (1967–79), he was first elected to the Dáil for Dublin North-West, the second of four TDs, in the general election of 18 June 1969 and was later appointed parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Education (December 1972–February 1973), with special responsibility for youth and sport. He topped the poll in the general election of 28 February 1973, was opposition spokesman on the Gaeltacht (1973–7), and was an alderman on Dublin corporation (1974–8). Having topped the poll in the general election of 16 June 1977, he was reappointed parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Education with special responsibility for youth and sport (1977–81) by Taoiseach Jack Lynch and then by, Charles Haughey. He served as Leas-Cheann Comhairle in 1981–2 and was the first TD to be elected for Dublin North-West in the general election of 18 February 1982, repeating this performance in the general election of 24 November 1982. First appointed Chairman of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party in late 1982. He was elected lord mayor of Dublin in 1985–6, and became Leas-Cheann Comhairle again in 1987–92. In the general election of 17 February 1987 he was the third of four deputies returned for Dublin North-West and was the second to be elected TD for the constituency in the general election of 15 June 1989, only losing his seat in the general election of 1992. In electoral terms he was one of the most successful politicians of his generation, having held his seat for twenty-three years in eight successive general elections.
He served on a number of bodies, including the Eastern Regional Development Board (1970–79), the Dublin Vocational Education Committee (1974–9), Conradh na Gaelige, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the New Ireland Forum, Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge, and the Vocational Teachers' Association. He served too as Co-Chairman of the British–Irish inter-parliamentary body and was a governor of the National Institute for Higher Education, Dublin (later DCU).

By Gerry McElory, Dictionary of Irish Biography (2009) DOI:

De Valera, Éamon

  • 0000033
  • Person
  • 1882–1975

Éamon (‘Dev’) De Valera was born 14 October 1882 in Manhattan, New York, the only child of Juan Vivion de Valera and Catherine (‘Kate’) Coll; he was christened Edward. His mother was a native of Bruree, Co. Limerick while his father had been born (1853) in Spain's Basque country. De Valera came to Ireland as a young child in April 1885 where he lived with his maternal family in Knockmore, Bruree. He joined the Irish Volunteers at their inaugural meeting in Dublin's Rotunda Rink (25 November 1913). In March 1915 he was appointed commandant of the 3rd Battalion, comprising the companies in the south-east of the city, after he had satisfied Patrick Pearse of his willingness to participate in a rising; he then became adjutant to Thomas MacDonagh, the brigade commander. During the 1916 Easter Rising de Valera's battalion occupied Boland's Mill, commanding the south-east approaches over the Grand Canal. He was arrested and sentenced to death but released for a variety of reasons, including the public response to the British execution of Rising leaders. He was imprisoned in four English prisons (Dartmoor, Lewes, Maidstone, and Pentonville), before returning to Ireland and becoming one of the leading political figures of the War of Independence. He was elected president of Sinn Féin on 25 October 1917, a post he held until 1926; and on 27 October he was also elected president of the Irish Volunteers.
De Valera's refusal to participate as one of the Irish plenipotentiaries in the Anglo-Irish Treaty, in the conference that began on 11 October and culminated with the signing of the treaty in the early hours of 6 December 1921. The Dáil approved the treaty by 64 votes to 57 on 7 January 1922. De Valera resigned as president of Dáil Éireann but stood for reelection and was even more narrowly defeated, by 60 votes to 58, on 10 January. De Valera's refusal to accept those votes as a final verdict ensured that the treaty split became the great divide in the party politics of independent Ireland. Relations between the new Irish government, which was backed by most of the Dáil and the electorate, and the anti-Treaty side under the nominal leadership of de Valera, descended into the Irish Civil War (June 1922 to May 1923), in which the pro-treaty Free State forces defeated the anti-Treaty IRA. De Valera was arrested by Free State troops on 15 August 1923 and not released until 16 July 1924. De Valera's breach with Sinn Féin was further postponed when the party's ard fheis in 1925 evaded the issue, but an IRA convention in November – adopting a new constitution, freeing the IRA from political control – sharpened the divide. A month later he announced the formation of a new republican party, Fianna Fáil, with the first objective of ‘securing the political independence of a united Ireland as a republic’; its other objectives were the restoration of the Irish language, a social system of equal opportunity, land redistribution designed to maximise the number of families on the land, and economic self-sufficiency. The ensuing election (June 1927) marked a decisive step in de Valera's quest for a majority: Fianna Fáil won 44 seats while the government party slumped from 63 to 47.
On 9 March 1932 the dáil elected Éamon de Valera president of the executive council by 81 to 68, a majority dependent on the Labour Party and some independent support in addition to the 72 Fianna Fáil deputies. He at once initiated steps to fulfil his election promises to abolish the oath and withhold land annuities owed to the UK for loans provided under the Irish Land Acts and agreed as part of the 1921 Treaty. In the 1948 election, Fianna Fáil lost the outright majority they had held for sixteen years and De Valera became Leader of the Opposition before returning to the Dáil as Taoiseach in 1951. He departed the active politics of the Dáil in 1959 and successfully secured the presidency of Ireland, and was inaugurated President of Ireland on 25 June 1959. Éamon de Valera died aged 92 after a brief illness on 29 August 1975.

Dictionary of Irish Biography (2009)

Boland, Kevin

  • 0000034
  • Person
  • 1917–2001

Kevin Boland was born 15 October 1917 in Fairview, Dublin, the son of Gerald Boland, Fianna Fáil TD and cabinet minister, and his wife, Annie (née Keating), former Cumann na mBan and Gaelic League activist. After training as a civil engineer and serving as a lieutenant in the army during the Emergency (World War II) Boland worked in the Fianna Fáil party organisation. He was first elected to the Dáil for Dublin County in the 1957 general election, after standing unsuccessfully in 1951 and 1954 and serving on Dublin corporation. He was re-elected for Dublin County in 1961 and 1965 and Dublin South County in 1969. He became Minister for Defence and held this post until 1961, overseeing the internment of IRA members. He then served as Minister for Social Welfare (1961–6) and minister for local government (1966–70).On 5 May 1970 Boland resigned from the cabinet after the dismissal of Haughey and Blaney over the attempted arms importation. After the arrest of Haughey, Blaney, and others on 27–8 May, Boland publicly accused Lynch of ‘felon-setting’ (exposing northern nationalists to arrest). He resigned as party secretary and was expelled from the parliamentary party.
After the acquittal of the arms trial defendants on 23 October 1970, he joined calls for Lynch's resignation but was soon isolated. He resigned from the Dáil on 4 November 1970, considering himself bound by his party pledge but refusing to endorse perjured evidence in a vote of confidence. Boland tried to organise a grassroots revolt at the Fianna Fáil ard fheis on 19–21 February 1971 but it was defeated. He left Fianna Fáil in May 1972. The following month, encouraged by his father, he founded a republican party, Aontacht Éireann, which ran thirteen candidates (including Boland in Dublin South County) in the 1973 general election; all were defeated. In the 1970s and 1980s Boland produced several small books on Irish life and politics. Boland died 23 September 2001 after a short illness.

By Patrick Maume, Dictionary of Irish Biography (2009) DOI:

FitzGerald, Garret

  • 0000035
  • Person
  • 1926–2011

Dr Garrett FitzGerald, was born in Dublin on 9 February 1926. In 1950 he assumed responsibility for economic planning and transport scheduling within Aer Lingus. Between 1959 and 1973 FitzGerald lectured in economics at UCD, and was awarded a Ph.D. in 1969, with his dissertation being published by the IPA as a book, Planning in Ireland. FitzGerald stood for the Seanad as a Fine Gael candidate on the industrial and commercial panel. In 1969 he became TD for Dublin South-East and opposition front bench spokesman on education. In 1971 FitzGerald became Fine Gael spokesman on finance. He took a leading role in the campaign for Irish membership of the EEC, touring the country with the Labour Party spokesman, Justin Keating. After the 1973 general election a Fine Gael–Labour coalition government would be formed, Cosgrave appointed FitzGerald to the Foreign Affairs. After Cosgrave resigned following Fine Gael’s electoral defeat in the June 1977 general election, FitzGerald was elected as leader on 1 July 1977.
At the June 1981 general election Fine Gael gained sixty-five seats (compared with forty-three in 1977) and formed a minority coalition government with Labour (fifteen seats), and FitzGerald was elected Taoiseach, on 30 June 1981. At the subsequent November 1982 general election Fianna Fáil was reduced to seventy-five seats; Fine Gael secured seventy and Labour under Dick Spring sixteen, with the highest Fine Gael vote ever recorded (39.2 per cent). Labour reversed a recent conference decision not to enter coalition, and a second FitzGerald government was formed, but the need to placate Labour contributed to its limitations. Perhaps FitzGerald’s largest contribution to the subsequent Irish economic recovery came on the European level, with his significant role in insisting that the renewal of the European integration process under Commission President Jacques Delors, embodied in the 1987 Single European Act and paving the way for subsequent integration measures, must be accompanied by increased development funds to promote economic cohesion by developing the economies of the poorer member states. FitzGerald also negotiated favourable quotas for Irish agricultural produce despite pressure for European subsidy reductions.
The coalition government fell in January 1987, having lost its majority through the defections of individual Fine Gael and Labour TDs, when Labour ministers refused to support proposed budgetary cuts which the Dáil was unlikely to ratify. FitzGerald resigned as Fine Gael leader shortly after the election in March 1987 of a minority Fianna Fáil government led by Haughey, having stated in the Dáil that Fine Gael would support government measures necessary for economic recovery. FitzGerald left the Dáil at the 1992 election, supporting himself by journalism and consultancy work. Garret FitzGerald died of pneumonia on 19 May 2011 in the Mater Hospital, Dublin after a short illness. His research on primary education in early nineteenth-century Ireland was published posthumously in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy.

Source: Patrick Maume, Dictionary of Irish Biography (2021),

Haughey, Maureen

  • 0000043
  • Person
  • 1925-2017

Maureen Frances Haughey (neé Lemass) was born in Dublin on September 3rd 1925, the eldest child of Kathleen and Seán Lemass. Her father Seán was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who served as Taoiseach and Leader of Fianna Fáil from 1959 to 1966. She attended University College Dublin, where she obtained BA Commerce degree. It was at UCD she met her future husband, Charles Haughey. Maureen Haughey's brother Noel Lemass also served as a Fianna Fáil TD, while her sister-in-law, Eileen Lemass, also served as a member of Dáil Éireann. Her youngest son, Seán Haughey, has served as Lord Mayor of Dublin and was a TD and has previously been a Minister of State. She died on 17 March 2017, aged 91.

McCarthy, Seán

  • 0000049
  • Person
  • 1937-2021

Seán McCarthy was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician. McCarthy was a medical doctor before entering politics, and first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) for the Tipperary South constituency at the 1981 general election

O'Malley, Desmond

  • 0000050
  • Person
  • 1939-2021

Desmond O'Malley was an Irish politician. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Limerick East constituency from 1968 to 2002. O'Malley served as Minister for Industry and Commerce from 1977-1981 and 1989-1992, Leader of the Progressive Democrats from 1985-1993, Minister for Trade, Commerce and Tourism from March 1982-October 1982, Minister for Justice from 1970-1973 and Government Chief Whip and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Defence from 1969-1970. Initially, a prominent Fianna Fáil party member, O'Malley went on to found the Progressive Democrats and served as the party's first leader from 1985 until 1993. He retired from politics at the 2002 Irish General Election.

Mulvihill, Mary

  • 0000051
  • Person
  • 1959-2015

Mary Mulvihill was an award-winning science writer, broadcaster and media consultant.


Ryan, James

  • 0000060
  • Person
  • 1892-1970

James Ryan was an Irish politician and Teachta Dála (TD) for Wexford from 1918 to 1922 and from 1923 to 1965, with Sinn Féin until 1926 and then with Fianna Fáil until 1965. Ryan was Minister for Health, Social Welfare, and Agriculture during his policital career.

Smith, Patrick

  • 0000059
  • Person
  • 1901-1982

Patrick Smith was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician, who served as a Teachta Dála from 1923 until 1977

Results 1 to 100 of 150