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Kevin Boland

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Kevin Boland (1917 - 2001), was a senior Irish politician. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1957 as a Fianna Fáil TD. Boland served as Minister for Defence (1957-1961), Minister for Social Welfare (1961-1965) and Minister for Local Government (1965-1970). He holds the distinction of being one of only five TDs to be appointed Minister on their first day in the Dáil.

Born in Dublin, Kevin Boland was the son of Gerald Boland, a founder-member of Fianna Fáil. Boland was first elected to the Dáil in 1957. On his first day in the Dáil he was appointed Minister for Defence. Between 1961 and 1966 he served as Minister for Social Welfare. Under Jack Lynch Boland became Minister for Local Government in 1966.

In May 1970 Boland resigned from the government. He sympathised with Neil Blaney and Charles Haughey who were dismissed from the government because of a plot to import arms into the country. Later that year he resigned from Fianna Fáil and resigned from his Dáil seat. He remained outspoken in his views on Northern Ireland. He went on to form his own political party, named Aontacht Éireann. The party failed to win electoral support.

Boland will be infamously remembered for interrupting a speech by Dr. Patrick Hillery at the 1971 Fianna Fáil Ard-Fheis. Boland and his supporters caused chaos in the hall. RTÉ cameras filmed a live power struggle in the Fianna Fáil party. When his supporters started chanting 'We want Boland', Hillery famously replied, 'You can have Boland, but you can't have Fianna Fáil'.

Kevin Boland died in Dublin in 2001.

Political Career


Preceded by:
Seán MacEoin
Minister for Defence
1957–1961
Succeeded by:
Gerald Bartley
Preceded by:
Seán MacEntee
Minister for Social Welfare
1961–1966
Succeeded by:
Joseph Brennan
Preceded by:
Neil Blaney
Minister for Local Government
1966–1970
Succeeded by:
Bobby Molloy
Preceded by:
Joseph Brennan
Minister for Social Welfare
1969–1970
Succeeded by:
Joseph Brennan

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