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James Tully

From Academic Kids

James Tully (18 September 1915 - 20 May 1992) was a prominent Irish trade unionist, politician and Deputy Leader of the Irish Labour Party who served as a minister in a series of Irish Fine Gael-Labour coalition governments.

James (Jim) Tully was born in Carlanstown, near Kells in County Meath. He was educated in Carlanstown NS and in St. Patrick's Classical School in Navan. He served as TD for Meath from 1954-1957 and from 1961-1982. When Labour entered into a coalition government with Fine Gael in 1973, he was appointed Minister for Local Government. In that role he became famous for two things; a massive increase in the building of public housing and an attempt to gerrymander Irish constituencies to ensure the re-election of the National Coalition in the 1977 general election. His attempt, which came to be called a Tullymander, backfired spectacularly and helped engineer a landslide for the opposition.

Tully was appointed Deputy Leader of Labour under Michael O'Leary in 1981, and was appointed Minister for Defence in the shortlived 1981-82 Fine Gael-Labour government. He suffered a shrapnel injury to his face when, while attending a military parade in Cairo as a guest of President Anwar Sadat, Sadat, whom Tully was beside, was assassinated.

Tully retired from politics in 1982.

Political Career


Preceded by:
Bobby Molloy
Minister for the Environment
1973–1977
Succeeded by:
Sylvester Barret
Preceded by:
Sylvester Barret
Minister for Defence
1981–1982
Succeeded by:
Paddy Power

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