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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Members of the Eighteenth Dáil - Michael "Godfrey" Timmins

Michael "Godfrey" Timmins (6 September 1927 – 11 April 2001) was an Irish Fine Gael politician who served in Dáil Éireann from 1968 to 1987 and from 1989 to 1997.

Born in Weaver's Square, Baltinglass, County Wicklow, he was the eldest of four children. His father had been a Sinn Féin representative on the Baltinglass Board of Guardians, one of three Benchmen in the Republican court during the Irish War of Independence, a pro-Treaty Cumann na nGaedheal supporter, and later a Fine Gael Councillor. His mother Kitty (née Godfrey) was a native of Ballyhaunis, County Mayo. He was known by his mother's maiden surname, Godfrey, to distinguish him from his father.

He attended Secondary school at the Patrician College, Tullow and later at Naas Christian Brothers School. After finishing school he worked in the family business and as a farmer and butcher in Baltinglass.

He was a keen Gaelic footballer. In 1946 he was the Baltinglass club delegate to the Wicklow County GAA Board. He served as Chairman of the local club from 1952 to 1970 and club President from 1971 until his death in 2001.

Timmins became active in politics with Fine Gael. In the local elections of 1950 he succeeded in being the only Fine Gael candidate elected to the Wicklow County Council. He was re-elected in each subsequent local election, and was a member of the council for 49 years. He held the position of Chairman on the Council on four occasions (1975, 1978, 1981, 1996).

He was also part of the council's committee on Agriculture, Wicklow VEC, and the Eastern Health Board.

Timmins was first elected to the 18th Dáil as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) for the Wicklow constituency at the April 1968 by-election caused by the death of Labour Party TD James Everett. He was re-elected in each subsequent election until the 1987 general election when he lost his seat. Refusing to stand for the Seanad he re-gained his seat in the next general election and remained as a TD until he retired at the 1997 general election. He was succeeded in Dáil Éireann by his son Billy Timmins.

During his time in the Dáil he served as a member of the Committee on Procedure and Privileges, the Committee of Selection, and the Committee of Accounts. He was Fine Gael Chief Whip from 1972–73.

He collapsed and died while attending a GAA match in Dunlavin in April 2001. He left an estate worth €3.5m in 2003.

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