Full Text

Haughey, Charles James (1925–)

Subject History

Place Northern Europe » Éire (Republic of Ireland)

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631209379.1999.x


Taoi-seach (Prime Minister) of Ireland (1979–81, 1982, 1987–92). Born in Northern Ireland, Charles Haughey grew up in Dublin, where he studied law and accountancy at University College. He made a fortune in property development, joined Fianna Fail and in 1951 married the daughter of Sean lemass. Elected to the Dail (parliament) in 1957, his opportunity for advancement came when his father-in-law became Taoiseach in 1959. Exceptionally industrious, he held various ministerial posts: justice, agriculture and then (under Jack Lynch) finance. In 1970 he was dismissed and indicted by the government of which he had been a member for conspiring to use government funds to smuggle arms into Ireland for use by the outlawed IRA in the North. This seemed the end of his public career but he was acquitted and slowly worked his way back when his party was in opposition. Fianna Fail returned to office in 1977, Haughey becoming Minister for Health and, when Lynch retired, party leader and Taoiseach in 1979. He faced a declining economy and the need to cut the country's deficit and government spending. In the 1981 election Fianna Fail lost its majority, though it was still the largest party and Garret Fitzgerald of Fine Gael became Taoiseach of a minority government. This did not last long. After another election in February 1982 Haughey was Taoiseach again, though his party did not have an overall ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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