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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Members of the Eighteenth Dáil - Thomas J. "Tom" Fitzpatrick (Cavan)

Thomas J. "Tom" Fitzpatrick
Thomas J. "Tom" Fitzpatrick (14 February 1918 – 2 October 2006) was an Irish Fine Gael politician who served as Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann from 1982 to 1987.

Fitzpatrick was born at Scotshouse, Clones, County Monaghan in 1918. He was educated at St. Macartan's College, the Incorporated Law Society and University College Dublin where he qualified as a solicitor, and then entered practice as a solicitor in Cavan town.

Fitzpatrick first held political office in 1950, when he was elected to Cavan Urban District Council. In 1961, he moved to national politics when he was elected to Seanad Éireann. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) for the Cavan constituency at the 1965 general election. He held many Opposition Front Bench portfolios including Defence, Health and Social Welfare, Justice and the Environment, as well as being Fine Gael Chief Whip from 1979 to 1981.

Fitzpatrick served in the Irish Government on several occasions under Liam Cosgrave and Garret FitzGerald. His first government post was in 1973, when he was appointed Minister for Lands. After Fine Gael lost power in 1977, he was mentioned as a possible leader of the party if a compromise were needed between FitzGerald and Cosgrave. Following the November 1982 general election, he was elected as Ceann Comhairle, a post which he held until 1987. Fitzpatrick was re-elected to the Dáil (or automatically returned as Ceann Comhairle) at every election until 1989 when he retired from politics.

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