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Padraig Flynn

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Pádraig Flynn (born May 9, 1939) was a senior Irish politician. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil TD in 1977. He was returned at each subsequent election until 1993. Between 1993 and 1999 he served as European Commissioner.

Pádraig Flynn was born in Castlebar, County Mayo on May 9, 1939. He was educated in St. Gerard's, Castlebar and qualified as a teacher from St. Patrick's Training College in Dublin. He was involved in local politics since 1967, but was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil TD in 1977. He was a supporter of Charles Haughey in the 1979 leadership contest becoming Minister of State at the Department of Transport and Power. Flynn joined the Cabinet table in 1982 when in October he was appointed Minister for Trade, Commerce and Tourism.

In 1987 Flynn became Minister for the Environment. In 1990 his attack on the suitability of presidential candidate Mary Robinson (because she was "a wife and mother") backfired drastically, causing many women to back Robinson, who won the election. In 1991 Flynn was sacked from the Cabinet because of his support for a motion of no confidence in the Taoiseach, Charles Haughey. The following year Haughey resigned and Albert Reynolds became Taoiseach. Flynn was rewarded for supporting Reynolds by becoming Minister for Justice. In 1993 he was appointed Ireland's EU Commissioner. He was re-appointed by the Fine Gael government in 1995. On both of these occasions Flynn accepted the Social Affairs portfolio.

On January 15 1999 Flynn made comments on a live chat show (The Late Late Show) regarding Tom Gilmartin and a donation of £50,000 to the Fianna Fáil party. The show also became legendary in that Flynn made comments on his lifestyle; he had a salary of £100,000 (Punt) and had three houses, cars and houskeepers and travelled regularily. The performance which was seen as eccentric and out of touch - at a time when inflation saw house prices rise dramaically. This was seen as the end of any possible return to politics in Ireland, even though he was previously respected. Flynn's second term as Commissioner was ended early in September 1999 when the entire commission resigned due to allegations of malpractice by the European Parliament.

Flynn's daughter Beverly is currently an independent TD for Mayo.


Preceded by:
Paddy Power
Minister for Trade, Commerce & Tourism
1982
Succeeded by:
Frank Cluskey
Preceded by:
John Boland
Minister for the Environment
1987-1991
Succeeded by:
John P. Wilson
Preceded by:
Ray Burke
Minister for Justice
1992-1993
Succeeded by:
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn
Preceded by:
Desmond O'Malley
Minister for Industry & Commerce
1992-1993
Succeeded by:
Bertie Ahern
Preceded by:
Ray MacSharry
European Commissioner from Ireland
1993-1999
Succeeded by:
David Byrne

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