Father of the Dáil

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In Ireland, the term Father of the Dáil is an unofficial title applied to the current member of Dáil Éireann with the longest unbroken period of service, regardless of their position. The 'Father' has no official role in the business of the House as the title is honorific.

The current Father of the Dáil is Enda Kenny, who is also the Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael, having first been elected on 12 November 1975.

Michael P. Kitt was elected to the house before Kenny, at a by-election on 4 March 1975. His Dáil service has, however, been interrupted by two terms in Seanad Éireann.

On a number of occasions two or more people have shared the position of Father of the Dáil.

Fathers of the Dáil[edit]

Name Entered Dáil Became Father Left Dáil Party
Frank Fahy 1918 election 4 February 1948 14 July 1953 Fianna Fáil
Éamon de Valera 23 June 1959 Fianna Fáil
Gerald Boland 1923 election 23 June 1959 4 October 1961 Fianna Fáil
James Ryan 7 April 1965 Fianna Fáil
Patrick McGilligan 7 April 1965 Fine Gael
James Everett 18 December 1967 Labour Party
Thomas McEllistrim 18 June 1969 Fianna Fáil
Frank Aiken 28 February 1973 Fianna Fáil
Paddy Smith 5 July 1977 Fianna Fáil
Liam Cosgrave 1943 election 5 July 1977 11 June 1981 Fine Gael
Dan Spring 11 June 1981 Labour Party
Oliver J. Flanagan 17 February 1987 Fine Gael
Neil Blaney Dec. 1948 by-election 17 February 1987 8 November 1995 Independent Fianna Fáil
Paddy Harte 1961 election 8 November 1995 6 June 1997 Fine Gael
Seán Treacy 6 June 1997 Labour Party
Séamus Pattison 14 June 2007 Labour Party
Enda Kenny[1] Nov. 1975 by-election 14 June 2007 Incumbent Fine Gael

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Why Taoiseach Enda doesn't sound so funny". Irish Independent. 13 June 2009. Retrieved 14 June 2009.