Biography of Lynch, John (Séan Ó Loinsigh) - Archontology
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Lynch, John (Séan Ó Loinsigh)

Séan Ó Loinsigh = John Mary Lynch

b. 15 Aug 1917, Cork, Co. Cork
d. 20 Oct 1999, Dublin

Title: Taoiseach
Term: 10 Nov 1966 - 2 Jul 1969
Chronology: 10 Nov 1966, nominated by the 18th Dáil Éireann; appointed by the President of Ireland [1]
2 Jul 1969, re-appointed
Term: 2 Jul 1969 - 14 Mar 1973
Chronology: 2 Jul 1969, nominated by the 19th Dáil Éireann; appointed by the President of Ireland [1]
14 Mar 1973, successor appointed
Term: 5 Jul 1977 - 11 Dec 1979
Chronology: 5 Jul 1977, nominated by the 21st Dáil Éireann; appointed by the President of Ireland [1]
11 Dec 1979, resignation submitted to the President of Ireland; successor appointed [1]
Names/titles: Also known as Jack Lynch

Educated at St Vincent's and King's Inns, Jack Lynch was qualified as a barrister while working as a civil servant in the Department of Justice. He was first elected to the Dáil Éireann in 1948 as a Fianna Fáil representative and held a seat until his retirement in 1981. He was parliamentary secretary (19511954) and then joined the cabinet of Eamon de Valera as Minister for the Gaeltacht (Gaelic-speaking districts) (1957) and Minister for Education (1957-1959). When Séan Lemass succeeded de Valera as Taoiseach, Lynch held the offices of Minister for Industry and Commerce (1959-1965), for Finance (1965-1966). Following the retirement of Lemass, Lynch was elected leader of Fianna Fáil and Taoiseach in November 1966 as a compromise candidate. He became known as the 'reluctant' Taoiseach although he was later to reach heights of popularity unscaled by any contemporary holder of that office. In the 1969 General Election Lynch led Fianna Fáil to victory, successfully fending off a challenge from a Labour Party. The fruits of victory turned bitter as conflict between nationalists and unionists in Northern Ireland deepened. The government lost its public cohesion after some militant speeches by cabinet members, two of whom including Charles Haughey were fired by Lynch (1970). In 1972 Lynch secured a successful referendum on Ireland's entry into the European Economic Community, and on 1 Jan 1973, Ireland became a member. In the 1973 General Election, Fianna Fáil lost 6 seats in the Dáil to Fine Gael and Labour Party, which formed a coalition government, ending 16 years of Fianna Fáil rule. The opposition years (1973-1977) which followed were marked by uncertainty and hesitancy, and carried no hint of the landslide Fianna Fáil victory which was to come, again under Lynch's leadership, in the 1977 General Election (84 seats, 50.6 percent). In 1979 Fianna Fáil lost two crucial by-elections in Lynch's native city of Cork. Late that year he stepped down (11 Dec 1979). On retirement from politics he took up a number of company directorships. Biography source: [2]

Date Candidate Yes No
10 Nov 1966 Jack Lynch 71 64
2 Jul 1969 Jack Lynch 74 66
14 Mar 1973 Jack Lynch (failed) 69 73
5 Jul 1977 Jack Lynch 82 61

[1] Dáil Éireann Debates
[2] McRedmond, Louis (ed.) Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1996.
Image: photograph, 1978.