Biography of Bruton, John Gerard - Archontology
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Bruton, John Gerard

Seán de Briotún = John Gerard Bruton

b. 18 May 1947, Dublin [1]

Title: Taoiseach
Term: 15 Dec 1994 - 26 Jun 1997
Chronology: 15 Dec 1994, nominated by voting of the 27th Dáil Éireann [2, vol. 447, pp. 1156-1160]
15 Dec 1994, appointed by the President of Ireland on the nomination of Dáil Éireann [2, vol. 447, pp. 1176-1177]
26 Jun 1997, successor appointed by the President of Ireland on the nomination of Dáil Éireann [2, vol. 480, p. 60]

John Bruton was educated at Clongowes, University College, Dublin, and King's Inns. In 1969, at the age of 22, he was elected to the Dáil Éireann for the Fine Gael party. He was parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Education (19731977) and to the Minister for Industry and Commerce (1975-1977). He was Minister for Finance (30 Jun 1981 - 9 Mar 1982) in the first administration of Garret FitzGerald, when his budget led to the collapse of the government. The coalition returned to power in November 1982 and Bruton became Minister for Industry and Energy (13 Dec 1983 - 14 Feb 1986). In February 1986 he returned to Finance (14 Feb 1986 - 10 Mar 1987), but after the withdrawal of Labour he also became Minister for the Public Service (20 Jan 1987 - 10 Mar 1987) until the formation of the incoming Fianna Fáil administration. When FitzGerald resigned after the 1987 General Election, Bruton contested the party leadership but was defeated by Alan Dukes, whom he eventually succeeded in 1990. During the General Election of 1992, Bruton suggested the idea of a three-party coalition, but the Labour Party preferred to enter the agreement with Fianna Fáil and Bruton's nomination as Taoiseach failed (14 Dec 1992). After the collapse of the Fianna FáilLabour coalition in November 1994, Bruton was appointed Taoiseach (15 Dec 1994) and formed a coalition government including Labour, Fine Gael and Democratic Left. Bruton's term as Taoiseach was marked by sustained growth in the Irish economy and his government promoted and achieved the abolition of the constitutional prohibition against the enactment of divorce legislation. In February 1995, with the British Prime Minister John Major, he launched the Anglo-Irish 'Framework Document', outlining new relations between Northern Ireland and the Republic. At the 1997 General Election, Fine Gael increased its representation in the Dáil by 10 seats, but Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats, who had run on a joint platform, formed a minority coalition. On 31 Jan 2001 a motion of no confidence initiated by his party colleagues was carried by a margin of 39 votes to 33 and Bruton immediately resigned the leadership of the party he had led for ten years. Biography source: [1]

Date Candidate Yes No
14 Dec 1992 John Bruton (failed) 55 107
15 Dec 1994 John Bruton 85 74
26 Jun 1997 John Bruton (failed) 75 87
Information source: 1992 [2, vol. 425, pp. 50-52], 1994 [2, vol. 447, pp. 1176-1177], 1997 [2, vol. 480, pp. 50-52]

[1] McRedmond, Louis (ed.) Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1996.
[2] Dáil Éireann Debates