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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Members of the Fourteenth Dáil - Declan Costello

Declan Costello

Declan Costello (1 August 1926 – 6 June 2011) was an Irish jurist and Fine Gael politician, who served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for twenty years, as Attorney General for four years and as a High Court judge for another twenty years before his retirement.

Costello was born in Dublin, the son of John A. Costello who served as Taoiseach on two occasions. He was educated at University College Dublin (UCD), and was an auditor of the UCD Law Society. At the 1951 general election he was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála for the Dublin North–West constituency and was re-elected at every subsequent election until he stood down at the 1969 general election. He stood again in the Dublin South–West constituency at the 1973 general election, and was elected for a final time, to the 20th Dáil.

During the 1960s Fine Gael was out of power and Costello was leader of a new generation of Fine Gael politicians who wanted to move the party to the left. He persuaded the party to publish a document called Towards a Just Society which supported economic planning and more government intervention in the economy. This document went on to define what Fine Gael stood for over the following twenty years.

In 1973, Fine Gael were back in government and Costello was appointed Attorney General under Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave. He served in that position until 1977 when he finally left politics to become a High Court judge. In 1979, he presided over the Costello Inquiry into the Whiddy Island Disaster. He was appointed President of the High Court in 1994 and retired in 1997. Costello died in 2011.

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