Joe Walsh (Irish politician)

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For other people named Joe Walsh, see Joe Walsh (disambiguation).
Joe Walsh
Minister for Agriculture and Food
In office
26 June 1997 – 29 September 2004
Preceded by Ivan Yates
Succeeded by Mary Coughlan
In office
11 February 1992 – 15 December 1994
Preceded by Michael Woods
Succeeded by Ivan Yates
Teachta Dála
In office
February 1982 – May 2007
In office
June 1977 – June 1981
Constituency Cork South–West
Senator
In office
October 1981 – February 1982
Constituency Cultural and Educational Panel
Personal details
Born (1943-05-01)1 May 1943
Ballineen, County Cork, Ireland
Died 9 November 2014(2014-11-09) (aged 71)
Wilton, Cork, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Fianna Fáil
Spouse(s) Marie Walsh
Children 5
Alma mater University College Cork

Joseph "Joe" Walsh (1 May 1943 – 9 November 2014) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician. He was a Teachta Dála (TD) for Cork South–West and was first elected as a TD at the 1977 general election. He lost his seat in 1981 but regained it again in 1982 and served as a TD until retiring at the 2007 general election. He served as Minister for Agriculture and Food on two occasions (1992–1994 and 1997–2004).[1]

Early life[edit]

Walsh was born in May 1943 in Ballineen, County Cork. He was educated at St Finbarr's College, Cork and University College Cork, where he qualified with a degree in Dairy Science in 1970. During his time in university he became involved in politics, establishing the first Fianna Fáil cumann in the university. Walsh began his career as a researcher in the National Dairy Research Centre at Moorepark, near Fermoy, before becoming Managing Director of Strand Dairies in Clonakilty, County Cork.

Political career[edit]

He began his political career when he was elected a member of Cork County Council in 1974, remaining on the council until the 1991 local elections.

He was elected to Dáil Éireann on his first, attempt when he was returned as a Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South–West at the 1977 general election. Walsh lost his seat at the 1981 general election, but secured election on the Cultural and Educational Panel to Seanad Éireann. He was re-elected to the Dáil at the February 1982 general election and retained his seat at every subsequent election until his retirement in 2007.[2]

In the 1980s, Walsh was one of the Gang of 22 who opposed Charles Haughey's leadership of Fianna Fáil. In spite of this he was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food when Haughey returned as Taoiseach after the 1987 general election. In 1989 he was a key figure in the negotiations which lead to the formation of the historic Fianna Fáil-Progressive Democrats coalition government. He remained as Minister of State until 1992 when Albert Reynolds became Taoiseach. Walsh was rewarded for his loyalty by being appointed to the Cabinet as Minister for Agriculture and Food. He remained in that position until December 1994. In 1997 Fianna Fáil returned to power and Walsh was again appointed Minister for Agriculture and Food in Bertie Ahern's government. Walsh's skill as a Minister was put to the test in 2001 when Ireland was confronted with the foot-and-mouth disease crisis. His determination to prevent a full-scale outbreak saw many events being cancelled and travel curtailed.

Walsh received several awards, including the Légion d'honneur and the Grand Cross of the Agricultural Order of Merit of Spain. On 13 August 2004 Walsh announced that he would retire from the Cabinet after spending 14 years of his career at the Department of Agriculture.

Walsh sat on the board of Bank of Ireland and received an annual Oireachtas pension payments of €119,177.[3]

Death[edit]

Walsh died at Cork University Hospital on 9 November 2014 after a "short illness".[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mr. Joe Walsh". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "Joe Walsh". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Kelly, Fiach (10 November 2011). "Thanks big fellas: Ahern and Cowen get massive pensions". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Former agriculture minister Joe Walsh dies". RTÉ News. 9 November 2014. 

External links[edit]

Oireachtas
Preceded by
Flor Crowley
(Fianna Fáil)
Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for Cork South–West
1977–1981
Succeeded by
Flor Crowley
(Fianna Fáil)
Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for Cork South–West
1982–2007
Succeeded by
Christy O'Sullivan
(Fianna Fáil)
Political offices
Preceded by
Michael Woods
Minister for Agriculture and Food
1992–1994
Succeeded by
Ivan Yates
Preceded by
Ivan Yates
Minister for Agriculture and Food
1997–2004
Succeeded by
Mary Coughlan