Colley, George

Identity area

Type of entity

Person

Authorized form of name

Colley, George

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Colley, George Joseph Pearse

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1925–1983

History

Colley, George (Joseph Pearse) (1925–83), government minister, was born in Dublin on 18 October 1925, the fifth child and eldest son of Harry Colley, Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin North East (1944–57), and his wife Christina (née Nugent). He was educated at Holy Faith Convent, Clontarf, St Joseph's Christian Brothers’ School, Marino, UCD, and the Incorporated Law Society. For his service as a corporal in the 42nd Dublin Rifle Battalion, LDF, he was awarded the 1939–46 emergency service medal. He was auditor of the Solicitors’ Apprentices Debating Society of Ireland (1946–7), held the gold medal for legal, impromptu, and Irish debates in 1947, and 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 had a lifelong commitment to the Irish language and Gaeltacht development; during his ministerial responsibility for the Gaeltacht he established Raidio na Gaeltachta. 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. 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: https://doi.org/10.3318/dib.001845.v1

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Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

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Control area

Authority record identifier

0000019

Institution identifier

IE DCUA

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAAR (CPF)

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2022-04-28

Language(s)

  • English

Script(s)

Sources

Dictionary of Irish Biography (2009) DOI: https://doi.org/10.3318/dib.001845.v1

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