Liam Cosgrave

Born Apr 13, 1920

Liam Cosgrave is a former Irish Fine Gael politician who served as Taoiseach (1973–77) and as Leader of Fine Gael (1965–77). He was a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1943 to 1981. Born in Dublin, Cosgrave was the son of W. T. Cosgrave, the first President of the Executive Council in the newly formed Irish Free State. After qualifying as a barrister he decided to embark on a political career.… Read More

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1920 Birth Born on April 13, 1920.


He was a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1943 to 1981. … Read More
1947 27 Years Old Cosgrave wrote to the Party Leader, Richard Mulcahy, in May 1947, on the poor attendance in the Dáil, and informed his leader that "I cannot any longer conscientiously ask the public to support the party as a party, and in the circumstances I do not propose to speak at meetings outside my constituency." … Read More


1954 34 Years Old He formally became a cabinet member in 1954 when he was appointed Minister for External Affairs.
1955 35 Years Old 1 More Event
As Minister for External Affairs Cosgrave took part in trade discussions and chaired the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 1955.
1956 36 Years Old Cosgrave outlined the three principles of his foreign policy to the Dáil in June,1956, the first was adherence to the principles of the UN Charter, the second was independence and non-alignment, but the third made clear where Ireland's sympathies lay: "to do whatever we can as a member of the UN to preserve the Christian civilisation of which we are a part and with that end in view to support whenever possible those powers principally responsible for the defence of the free world in their resistance to the spread of communist power and influence." … Read More
1959 39 Years Old 1 More Event
Cosgrave remained active in opposition but he privately supported Fianna Fáil's referendum to abolish the system of proportional representation in June 1959, which was defeated. … Read More


1965 45 Years Old 1 More Event
Nevertheless, Fianna Fáil went on to win the 1965 General Election and Fine Gael remained in opposition.
1969 49 Years Old He led his party to defeat in the 1969 election and was under constant threat and challenge by younger more social democratic elements represented by Garret FitzGerald who was elected to the 1969 Dáil. … Read More


1972 52 Years Old 1 More Event
At the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in May 1972, Cosgrave faced down his political opponents in spectacular style. 1972 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of the Irish Free State and so was an important milestone in the history of Fine Gael. … Read More
To the surprise of many, he appointed Richie Ryan rather than Garret FitzGerald as his Minister for Finance when the Labour Party leader, Brendan Corish, declined the position in 1973. … Read More
1974 54 Years Old In line with his conservative credentials, and on a free vote, Cosgrave, without warning, crossed the floor to help defeat his own Government's bill in the summer of 1974. … Read More
In addition, Cosgrave frequently interfered in Ó Dálaigh's constitutional role as the state's representative to foreign governments; he was not permitted to receive the Legion of Honour from France, although former president Seán T. O'Kelly had previously received it, and Cosgrave attended the United States' bicentennial celebrations in 1976 in Ó Dálaigh's place.
1977 57 Years Old In May 1977, Cosgrave addressed a euphoric Fine Gael Ard Fheis on the eve of the general election. … Read More


1981 61 Years Old In 1981, Cosgrave retired as Dáil Deputy for Dún Laoghaire to be replaced by his son, Liam T. Cosgrave.
2010 90 Years Old He has reduced his involvement in public life but he occasionally speaks in public e.g. in 2010, he made an appearance for the launch of The Reluctant Taoiseach, a book about former Taoiseach John A. Costello written by David McCullagh.
2016 96 Years Old He also appeared in public for the Centenary of the Easter Rising in 2016, being seen watching on from a car as the military parade marched through Dublin. … Read More
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