Liam Cosgrave
Irish politician
Liam Cosgrave
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.
Biography
Liam Cosgrave's personal information overview.
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Liam on a roll - Bayside Bulletin
Google News - over 5 years
A FRACTURED left arm during the last match did not prevent Liam Cosgrave staying at the ground to collect the winner's trophy as captain of the victorious Under 12 Metropolitan East soccer team at the recent State Championships
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High standards already set for whoever will be President - Mayo News
Google News - over 5 years
Following the assassination of the British ambassador to Ireland in July, 1976, Liam Cosgrave's government enacted emergency legislation which O'Dálaigh referred to the Supreme Court. This action irked the government, particularly the Defence Minister
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Kennedy seeks go-ahead for Baldoyle site - Irish Independent
Google News - over 5 years
Mr Kennedy was charged with 16 offences, including allegations of payments made to former Dublin city councillor Sean Gilbride, to former Dublin city councillor Jack Larkin and to former Dublin city councillor Liam Cosgrave
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President Gay Byrne and the 'mad people' in Brussels running Ireland - FinFacts Ireland
Google News - over 5 years
In May 1973, Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave accused the Fianna Fáil Party of using Áras an Uachtaráin, as a cross between a museum and a morgue. It was an insensitive reference to Éamon de Valera, the 91-year old blind outgoing president, who was the founder
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An Irishman's Diary - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
Recently, I was talking to a former taoiseach, Liam Cosgrave, now 91. He was in charge of the government between 1973 and 1977, a grim time of dire economic conditions and widespread unrest and atrocities when the Troubles in the North were at their
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State failed to explain delay in charging Kennedy, court told - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
In separate proceedings, Mr Kennedy and former FG politician Liam Cosgrave are seeking orders against the Director of Public Prosecution, and the Attorney General preventing their trials on grounds including their constitutional rights to fair trial
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Kenny's speech historic and unprecedented in publicly calling Holy See to book - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
The Liam Cosgrave government between 1973 and 1977 had a struggle with Rome over the actions of the then serving papal nuncio, Gaetano Alibrandi, in relation to Northern Ireland. He told me that Cosgrave had written a letter to the Holy See which was
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Cosgrave seeks to prevent Carrickmines rezoning trial - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
RETIRED FINE Gael politician Liam Cosgrave was shocked when he learned he was to be charged with receiving corrupt payments for rezoning of lands in Carrickmines in Dublin in the 1990s, the High Court was told yesterday. Mr Cosgrave has in judicial
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Ex-Taoisigh face losing their phones and perks as cuts hit - Irish Independent
Google News - over 5 years
Garret FitzGerald claimed €1730 while Liam Cosgrave, who headed the Fine Gael/Labour coalition from 1973 to 1977, did not claim any funds under the arrangement. The payments come on top of the pensions given to former Taoisigh, which usually top
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Liam Cosgrave refused document access - RTE.ie
Google News - over 5 years
The High Court has refused an application by Liam Cosgrave for access to some documents related to his criminal trial on corruption charges. The High Court has refused an application by former Fine Gael TD Liam Cosgrave for access to some documents
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FG must get behind Mitchell now as party eyes vital victory - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
He was the “anti-establishment” candidate with special appeal for those who had laboured in the Fine Gael vineyard and disliked the notion, as they saw it, of a new recruit taking one of the plum jobs of Irish politics; Liam Cosgrave is not the only
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Court to rule on documents in alleged corruption case - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
THE HIGH Court will rule next week on applications by former Fine Gael politician Liam Cosgrave and businessman Jim Kennedy for discovery of a range of documents for their separate legal bids to stop their trials on charges related to alleged corrupt
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Cosgrave corruption trial lawyers ask for release of documents - IrishExaminer.com
Google News - over 5 years
Lawyers for former Fine Gael politician Liam Cosgrave are asking the High Court for documents to be released as part of efforts to stop his trial for alleged corruption. The ex-TD and Senator is challenging his prosecution on five charges of receiving
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Brian Lenihan removal held - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
Among those attending the removal were Mr Lenihan's aunt, Mary O'Rourke; Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore; Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin; former taoisigh Liam Cosgrave, Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen; former Fine Gael leader Alan Dukes; former Fianna Fáil ... - -
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Daughters lead tributes as 300 mourners gather for farewell to much loved ... - Herald.ie
Google News - over 5 years
Former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, former European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy and horse trainer John Ox were also present to pay their respects. Dr John Marsden, who led the funeral service, said Sue was "very much a free spirit" and she left her
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Costello was a 'prophetic voice' and a great family man, mourners told - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
Former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave was also in attendance. Msgr Sherry described the funeral as “a celebration of thanksgiving and a tribute of farewell to a great Christian who walked among us and offered us a new vision for living”
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Costello remembered as man of compassion and intellectual brilliance - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
Also in attendance were former taoisigh Liam Cosgrave and John Bruton, his wife Finola Bruton, former European commissioner David Byrne, former attorney general Paul Gallagher, former health minister Barry Desmond, former education minister Dick Burke
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The Áras: Nice Job If You Can Get It But There's A Long Queue - Irish Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Gay Mitchell and Mairead McGuinness supporters won't like that – but will be far too nice to use the word “blow-in”, made famous in political circles by Liam Cosgrave all those years ago. I think he was referring to the late Garret FitzGerald
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Remembering Garret FitzGerald - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
It was an exciting time for me as I had been unexpectedly promoted by Liam Cosgrave, the new party leader. Liam asked me to support Garret in the Senate election, which I did, and so began a new relationship which has lasted almost 46 years until
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Liam Cosgrave
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 95
    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.
    More Details Hide Details He receives an annual pension payment of €133,082 http://www.rte.ie/iu/pensions/. He currently lives in Knocklyon. His son, Liam T. Cosgrave, was also an Irish politician. The following government was led by Cosgrave: -
  • 2010
    Age 89
    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.
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  • 1981
    Age 60
    In 1981, Cosgrave retired as Dáil Deputy for Dún Laoghaire to be replaced by his son, Liam T. Cosgrave.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1977
    Age 56
    In May 1977, Cosgrave addressed a euphoric Fine Gael Ard Fheis on the eve of the general election.
    More Details Hide Details He made a strong attack on "blow-ins" who could "blow out or blow up". This was taken to be an attack either on Kader Asmal, founder of the Irish Anti Apartheid Movement and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, or on Bruce Arnold, the English born political writer in the Irish Independent newspaper who had been vociferously opposed to Cosgrave's policies particularly regarding the President and the wealth tax. While the Fine Gael grassroots loved it, the public were appalled. Cosgrave, together with James Tully, the Labour Minister for Local Government had redrawn the constituency boundaries to favour Fine Gael and Labour for the first time (the "Tullymander") and they confidently expected the new boundaries would win for them. Dublin, apart from Dún Laoghaire, was divided into some 13 three seat constituencies where Fine Gael and Labour were to take one seat each reducing Fianna Fáil to a minority rump in the capital. The election campaign started without Cosgrave taking any opinion polls in advance – therefore not knowing that Fianna Fáil were well ahead. (At the time, the media did not take opinion polls as they exist today.)
  • 1976
    Age 55
    Tim Pat Coogan declared what he dubbed "editorial war" on the government after a, now notorious, interview between Bernard Nossiter of the Washington Post and O'Brien in August 1976 regarding the passage of the Emergency Powers Bill.
    More Details Hide Details During the course of the interview O'Brien stated that he would've liked the bill to be used against teachers who glorified Irish revolutionaries and against newspaper editors who published letters in support of Republicans. The coalition attempted to prosecute The Irish Press for its coverage of the maltreatment of republican prisoners by the Garda "Heavy Gang", with the paper winning the case. Cosgrave was accused of taking an anti-republican or pro-unionist line regarding Northern Ireland. The Cosgrave government's tough anti-terrorist laws alienated the public, as did its tough austerity measures (Finance Minister Richie Ryan was nicknamed 'Richie Ruin' on a satirical TV programme, Hall's Pictorial Weekly). Marginal income tax rates came to 77% one year during the Coalition's reign. The electorate had not experienced unemployment and hardship of this nature since the fifties and the Government became quite unpopular. Combined with the Donegan affair and the hard line approach to law and order, the economic difficulties were quite damaging to Cosgrave and Corish's popularity.
    When Cosgrave then refused to accept Donegan's resignation, this proved the last straw for Ó Dálaigh, who resigned on 22 October 1976 "to protect the dignity and independence of the presidency as an institution."
    More Details Hide Details Cosgrave's Government signed the Sunningdale Agreement that appeared to provide a solution to the Northern Ireland problem in December 1973. A powersharing executive was set up and a Council of Ireland was to be established but it all came crashing down in May 1974 as a consequence of the Ulster Workers' Council Strike. In addition many Republican voters were angered by what they saw as Cosgrave's harsh line on the PIRA and the handling of the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings which resulted in the perpetrators walking scot-free. Both the Irish Times and the Irish Press, which was then edited by Tim Pat Coogan, were extremely critical of the government's curtailment of freedom of speech and in particular of the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs Conor Cruise O'Brien which was used against the IRA.
    Ó Dálaigh's decision in 1976 to exercise his power to refer a bill to the Supreme Court to test its constitutionality brought him into more direct conflict with the National Coalition.
    More Details Hide Details The government had introduced the Emergency Powers Bill following the assassination in July of the British Ambassador to Ireland, Christopher Ewart-Biggs, by the IRA; it had passed the Dáil on 21 September. After consultation with the Council of State, Ó Dálaigh referred the Bill to the Supreme Court two days later. Although the Court ruled that the Bill was constitutional, and Ó Dálaigh subsequently signed the Bill into law on 16 October, an IRA action on the same day in Mountmellick resulted in the death of a member of Garda Michael Clerkin. Cosgrave's government, already infuriated, blamed Ó Dálaigh's delaying enactment of the bill for Clerkin's murder. On 18 October Minister for Defence Paddy Donegan attacked the President for sending the bill to the Supreme Court, calling him a "thundering disgrace". Cosgrave called to inform the President of Donegan's speech, but refused to meet with him in person to discuss the matter owing to his dislike for Ó Dálaigh, fuelling the president's anger. He refused to receive Donegan when he came to personally apologise.
    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.
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  • 1974
    Age 53
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The presidency dogged the National Coalition. Erskine Childers had sought the presidency with promises of making the office more open and hands-on, in particular with plans to create a think tank within Áras an Uachtaráin to develop an outline for Ireland's future. Cosgrave refused to allow it, and frustrated Childers' plans to break with the restrained precedent of his office. President Childers died suddenly in November 1974. The replacement agreed with other parties was Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, a former Chief Justice and former Attorney General. Ó Dálaigh was a member of Fianna Fáil. Ó Dálaigh was also a noted critic of the curtailment of free speech and was highly critical of the introduction of Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act, which forbade the broadcast of the voices of Sinn Féin members. This put him at odds with Cosgrave, whose government had strengthened the Act. Cosgrave maintained a marked distance from Áras an Uachtaráin. Whereas previously, presidents had been briefed by Taoisigh once a month, Cosgrave briefed Presidents Childers and Ó Dálaigh on average once every six months.
  • 1973
    Age 52
    It suffered an early electoral defeat in the 1973 presidential election, when Fine Gael candidate Tom O'Higgins was defeated by the Fianna Fáil candidate, Erskine H. Childers, who became President of Ireland. In December 1973, the Supreme Court declared the ban on the importation of contraceptives by married persons to be unconstitutional. Patrick Cooney, the Minister for Justice, introduced legislation in 1974 to regulate and allow for married couples to obtain contraceptives.
    More Details Hide Details Fianna Fáil opposed any liberalisation of the law on family planning and fought the measure in the Dáil on grounds of protection of public morality and health.
    The National Coalition had a string of bad luck. It started with the world energy crisis triggered by the Yom Kippur War in October 1973, which caused inflationary problems.
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    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.
    More Details Hide Details Ryan, a Dublin solicitor, was of typically conservative Fine Gael stock. Nevertheless, Ryan (dubbed "Red Richie" by Fianna Fáil) implemented the Coalition's plans to replace death duties with a range of capital taxes, including Capital Gains Tax and Wealth Tax. Fianna Fáil bitterly opposed these new capital taxes and garnered considerable support from the wealthy and propertied classes as a result that would stand them in good stead in future elections.
  • 1972
    Age 51
    Cosgrave supported the Government's Offences Against the State (Amendment) Bill in November 1972, despite the position taken by Fine Gael to oppose the Bill.
    More Details Hide Details Cosgrave was determined not to alienate certain wings of his party in choosing his cabinet. The cabinet was described as being the "Government of all talents", including such luminaries as future Taoiseach and writer Garret FitzGerald, former United Nations diplomat Conor Cruise O'Brien, television presenter and veterinary professor Justin Keating and others. Cosgrave balanced these with hardline Christian Democrats such as Richard Burke, a former teacher, Cork merchant prince Peter Barry and west Dublin farmer Mark Clinton. It has been argued that Cosgrave fell into the category of being a "chairman" rather than a "chief" as far as the day-to-day running of his Government was concerned. He was meticulous in adhering to the implementation of the Fourteen Point Plan on which the National Coalition was elected. Many of his cabinet ministers were greater stars in their own right than he was.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details However, the FF government ignored the anniversary while liberals in Fine Gael were plotting to remove Cosgrave as leader. In a speech littered with references to Fine Gael's founding fathers, he contrasted the difficulties posed by the IRA in Northern Ireland with those faced by the first Free State government in dealing with the anti-treatyites. Departing from his script Cosgrave rounded on his leadership rivals. Asking delegates if they did any hunting Cosgrave declared that "... some of these commentators and critics are now like mongrel foxes; they are gone to ground but I'll dig them out, and the pack will chop them when they get them". Despite being criticised for taking a "partionist" or unionist stance in his speech, Cosgrave was leading Fine Gael back into power a year later.
  • FORTIES
  • 1969
    Age 48
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Cosgrave's erstwhile opponent, Declan Costello, had retired in 1969. Cosgrave's fortunes changed in 1970. He played a key role in the Arms Crisis, when, as leader of the opposition, he pressured then Fianna Fáil leader and Taoiseach, Jack Lynch, to take action against senior ministers who were involved in importing arms intended for the Provisional IRA. The information had been leaked to him by the Garda Special Branch, who had already informed the Taoiseach. Cosgrave's determination to support government anti-terrorist legislation in votes in the Dáil, in the face of outright opposition from his party, almost cost him his leadership. The growing liberal wing in Fine Gael was opposing the Government's stringent laws on civil liberty grounds. Cosgrave put the security of the State and its institutions first.
  • 1965
    Age 44
    In 1965, when James Dillon retired as Fine Gael leader after the 1965 general election loss, Liam Cosgrave, as a senior party figure and son of the first parliamentary leader of Fine Gael, easily won the leadership.
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    Nevertheless, Fianna Fáil went on to win the 1965 General Election and Fine Gael remained in opposition.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1959
    Age 38
    In October 1959, the dual leadership of Fine Gael, Mulcahy and Costello, stood down.
    More Details Hide Details Costello wanted to continue his practice as a senior counsel as well as being leader. He had asked Cosgrave to be his "managing director" in the Dáil while he was absent on legal work. Cosgrave, not surprisingly, had declined this. James Dillon and Cosgrave contested the leadership with Dillon decisively elected. With Fine Gael back in opposition during the 1960s, an internal struggle for the soul of the party was beginning. A large body of members called on Fine Gael to move decisively towards social democracy. A set of eight principles known as the Just Society was put forward to the party leadership by Declan Costello, the son of John A Costello, the former Taoiseach. The principles called for higher state spending in Health and Social Welfare on top of a greater state role in the economy. Despite his conservative credentials, Cosgrave adopted a somewhat positive attitude to the Just Society document.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details This opposition was to count against him later that year in the leadership contest.
  • 1956
    Age 35
    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."
    More Details Hide Details Ireland was non aligned in favour of the United States. The second Inter Party government collapsed amid severely deflationary policies set by the patrician Minister for Finance, Gerard Sweetman, and Cosgrave held Sweetman personally responsible for Fine Gael's defeat in 1957, and told him so, reportedly stating that Fine Gael "was no longer led by people living in big houses at the end of long avenues." He did not speak to Sweetman for some years.
  • 1955
    Age 34
    He also presided over Ireland's admission to the United Nations in 1955.
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    As Minister for External Affairs Cosgrave took part in trade discussions and chaired the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 1955.
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  • 1954
    Age 33
    He formally became a cabinet member in 1954 when he was appointed Minister for External Affairs.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1947
    Age 26
    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."
    More Details Hide Details Nevertheless, Cosgrave became the parliamentary secretary to the Taoiseach and Chief Whip when the party returned to power in 1948. Mulcahy, while remaining leader of Fine Gael, allowed John A Costello to become Taoiseach of the Inter Party Government as the latter had wider appeal and acceptance. The first coalition Government collapsed in 1951. However, in 1954 a second inter-party Government was formed. On this occasion Liam Cosgrave, at the age of 34, was given a cabinet position.
  • 1943
    Age 22
    To the surprise of his family, Liam decided to seek election to Dáil Éireann in the 1943 general election and was elected as a Teachta Dála (TD) for Dublin County at the age of 23, sitting in the 11th Dáil alongside his father W. T. Cosgrave who was one of the founders of the Irish Free State in the 1920s.
    More Details Hide Details Cosgrave rapidly rose through the ranks of Fine Gael, and was regarded as being by far the most able and active of Fine Gael's newer TDs. The party was, however, at an extremely low ebb in the 1940s spending many years in opposition.
    He was elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1943 general election and sat in opposition alongside his father.
    More Details Hide Details The formation of the first inter-party government in 1948 saw Cosgrave become a Parliamentary Secretary to Taoiseach John A. Costello.
    He was a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1943 to 1981.
    More Details Hide Details Born in Castleknock, 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.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1920
    Born
    Born on April 13, 1920.
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