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Gerard Collins

From Academic Kids

Gerard Collins, (born October, 1938) was a senior Irish politician. He was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil TD in 1967 and at each election until 1993. During his ministerial career he served as Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (1970-1973), Minister for Justice (1977-1981 & 1987-1989) and Minister for Foreign Affairs (1982 & 1989-1992). He served in the European Parliament between 1994 and 2004.

James Gerard Collins was born in October 1938 in Abbeyfeale, County Limerick. He was educated locally at St. Ita's College, Patrician College, Ballyfin and at University College Dublin. After leaving college he worked as a vocational school teacher. Between 1965 and 1967 Collins served as assistant general-secretary of Fianna Fáil. In 1967 Collins was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil candidate. 1970 saw him being appointed to the Cabinet for the first time as Minister for Posts and Telegraphs under Jack Lynch. During his tenure as Minister he introduced a law which prohibited organisations committed to violence from making media broadcasts. In 1972 he sacked the entire RTÉ authority becaused he felt that they disobeyed this order.

Between 1977 and 1981 Collins served as Minister for Justice. In March 1982 he became Minister for Foreign Affairs. He held this post until December 1982 when Fianna Fáil lost power. When Charles Haughey returned as Taoiseach in 1987 Collins was appointed Minister for Justice again. After the 1989 election Collins replaced Brian Lenihan as Minister for Foreign Affairs. From January to June 1990 he served as President of the European Community Council of Ministers..

In 1991 Collins made a tearful plea to Albert Reynolds on national television asking him not to challenge Charles Haughey for the leadership of the Fianna Fáil party. When Reynolds eventually became leader in 1992 Collins was one of many high profile Ministers to lose his Cabinet post. In 1994 he was elected a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Munster constituency. He was re-elected in 1999, but lost his bid for another term in the 2004 European Parliament elections. Subsequent to this defeat, he announced his retirement from politics.

Political Career


Preceded by:
Patrick Lalor
Minister for Posts & Telegraphs
1970-1973
Succeeded by:
Conor Cruise O'Brien
Preceded by:
Patrick Cooney
Minister for Justice
1977-1981
Succeeded by:
Jim Mitchell
Preceded by:
James Dooge
Minister for Foreign Affairs
1982
Succeeded by:
Peter Barry
Preceded by:
Alan Dukes
Minister for Justice
1987-1989
Succeeded by:
Ray Burke
Preceded by:
Brian Lenihan
Minister for Foreign Affairs
1989-1992
Succeeded by:
David Andrews

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