Biography of Reynolds, Albert (Ailbhe Mac Raghnaill) - Archontology
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Reynolds, Albert (Ailbhe Mac Raghnaill)

Ailbhe Mac Raghnaill = Albert Reynolds

b. 3 Nov 1932, Roosky, Co. Roscommon

Title: Taoiseach
Term: 11 Feb 1992 - 12 Jan 1993
Chronology: 11 Feb 1992, nominated by the 26th Dáil Éireann; appointed by the President of Ireland [1]
14 Dec 1992, resignation submitted to the President of Ireland (continued to carry on his duties until he was re-appointed on 12 Jan 1993)
Term: 12 Jan 1993 - 15 Dec 1994
Chronology: 12 Jan 1993, nominated by the 27th Dáil Éireann; appointed by the President of Ireland [1]
17 Nov 1994, resignation submitted to the President of Ireland (continued to carry on his duties until his successor was appointed on 15 Dec 1994)

Albert Reynolds was educated at Summerhill College, Sligo County. Prior to entering politics he was involved in dancehall promotion and the pet-food business. He also developed interests in local newspapers and a cinema. His fascination with politics arose in part from the 'Arms Trial' of Charles Haughey, which he attended. Reynolds became a member of Longford County Council in 1974 and in 1977 won a Dáil seat for Fianna Fáil. Reynolds was appointed Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, and Transport and Power in the Haughey government. He was Minister for Industry and Commerce (1987-1988) and for Finance (1988-1991). When Haughey resigned in February 1992, Reynolds obtained the posts of party leader and Taoiseach with clear majorities. He was an uneasy leader of the Fianna Fáil Progressive Democrat coalition government, which ended with the 'Beef Tribunal' (1992) arising from contradictory testimony presented to the Tribunal by Reynolds and the leader of Progressive Democrats, Des O'Malley. The coalition broke up and the General Election of 1994 resulted in a loss of nine seats for Fianna Fáil. Reynolds failed to secure his renomination and resigned the office (14 Dec 1992), but within a month he negotiated a new coalition with the Labour Party. He was re-appointed Taoiseach on 12 Jan 1993. Reynolds was deeply involved in efforts to secure a basis for an end to IRA violence. He opened up channels of communication to the Republican movement and to Loyalist paramilitaries. The Downing Street Declaration was agreed with the British Prime Minister John Major in December 1993 and an IRA cease-fire was announced in September 1994. The successful outcome was widely acclaimed, but within the coalition with Labour tensions had begun to emerge. These finally came to breaking point over an extradition case and the appointment of the then Attorney-General as president of the High Court. In a confused and emotional few days, Reynolds suddenly found himself forced to resign (17 Nov 1994). Biography source: [2]

Date Candidate Yes No
11 Feb 1992 Albert Reynolds 84 78
14 Dec 1992 Albert Reynolds (failed) 68 94
12 Jan 1993 Albert Reynolds 102 60

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