Home » Nations » Ireland » Heads of State » Hillery, Patrick John (Pádraig Seán Ó hIrighile)

Hillery, Patrick John (Pádraig Seán Ó hIrighile)

Pádraig Seán Ó hIrighile = Patrick John Hillery

b. 2 May 1923, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare

Title: Uachtarán na hÉireann = President of Ireland
Term: 3 Dec 1976 - 2 Dec 1983
Chronology: 9 Nov 1976, declared to have been elected by a certificate issued by the Presidential Returning Officer (unopposed nomination)
3 Dec 1976, sworn in, St Patrick's Hall, Dublin Castle, Dublin
2 Dec 1983, term expired
Term: 3 Dec 1983 - 2 Dec 1990
Chronology: 21 Oct 1983, declared to have been elected by a certificate issued by the Presidential Returning Officer (unopposed nomination)
3 Dec 1983, sworn in, St Patrick's Hall, Dublin Castle, Dublin
2 Dec 1990, term expired
Biography:

Patrick J. Hillery was educated at Rockwell College and University College, Dublin, and qualified as medical doctor. Hillery was elected Fianna Fáil member of Dáil Éireann for Clare (1951-1973), and served as Minister for Education (1959-1965), Minister for Industry and Commerce (1965-1966), Minister for Labor (1966-1969) and Minister for Foreign Affairs (1969-1973). As Minister for Education he was responsible for much innovative thinking, preparing the ground for the introduction of comprehensive schools, regional technical colleges and higher technical education. The developing crisis in Northern Ireland demanded much of his attention during his term as Minister for Foreign Affairs. He was able to lead the successful negotiations for Irish entry to the European Economic Community, following which he served as Vice-President of the Commission of the European Communities with special responsibility for Social Affairs (1973-1976). When President Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh resigned in 1976, Hillery reluctantly yielded to Fianna Fáil entreaties to make himself available to fill the vacancy and became President of Ireland by all-party agreement in December 1976. He was again unopposed upon his renomination seven years later and shared the distinction, with Eamon de Valera and Seán Ó Ceallaigh, of serving two full terms as head of state. As president he kept a low profile but twice became involved in unwelcome publicity. The first occasion was in 1979, when he denied publicly that he was going to resign because of a rumor about marital infidelity, which was possibly politically inspired. The second controversial episode was in 1982, when he declined to accept Fianna Fáil telephone calls urging him to consider refusing a dissolution of the Dáil to the Fine Gael Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald, whose government had been defeated on a budgetary proposal. Hillery retired completely from public life on his retirement. Biography source: [1][2]


[1] "Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography", ed. by Louis McRedmond (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1996).
[2] "Toghcháin Uachtaráin 1938-1997 Presidential Elections" (Dublin: Stationery Office, September 2000).

This page was last updated on: 24 May 2010 22:32:25

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