Mervyn Taylor

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Mervyn Taylor
Minister for Equality and Law Reform
In office
15 December 1994 – 26 June 1997
Preceded by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn
Succeeded by Office abolished
Department merged with Department of Justice
Minister for Equality and Law Reform
In office
21 January 1993 – 17 November 1994
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn
Minister for Labour
In office
12 January 1993 – 21 January 1993
Preceded by Brian Cowen
Succeeded by Office abolished
Department subsumed into Department of Enterprise and Employment
Personal details
Born (1931-12-01) 1 December 1931 (age 82)
Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Labour Party
Spouse(s) Marilyn Fisher
Children 3
Alma mater Trinity College, Dublin
Profession Solicitor
Religion Judaism

Mervyn Taylor (born 1 December 1931) is a former solicitor, Irish Labour Party politician and government minister.[1]

Early life[edit]

He was born to a Jewish family in Dublin. He was educated at Zion School, Wesley College Dublin and at Trinity College, Dublin where he qualified as a solicitor.

Legal practice[edit]

He worked for Herman Good Solicitors alongside Herman Good and future district judge, Hubert Wine. Good's involvement in the Labour Party was instrumental in Taylor getting involved in politics.[2] He later established his own firm, Taylor and Buchalter Solicitors, with the late Don Buchalter, and practised as a solicitor for over 50 years before retiring from active practice in his 70s. He continued as a consultant to the firm of Taylor and Buchalter Solicitors for most of his 70s.

Politics[edit]

Taylor was elected to Dublin County Council in the 1970s, and to Dáil Éireann as a Labour Party Teachta Dála (TD) for Dublin South–West at the 1981 general election, on his third attempt.[3] He then held the seat at every election until his retirement from politics in 1997.

He was Chairman of the Labour Party, and Labour chief whip, from 1981 to 1988. He was assistant government chief whip from 1981 to 1982, and again from 1982 to 1987. In 1993, he was appointed as Minister for Labour (for a brief period) and then served as Minister for Equality and Law Reform during the two governments of 1993–94 and 1994–97.

Legislation[edit]

In 1995, Taylor was in charge of the government proposal to remove from the constitution the prohibition of divorce legislation, steering the relevant bills through Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann, and winning the subsequent referendum by the narrow margin of 0.5 per cent. In the course of the campaign, he survived criticism of the measure directed at his Jewish faith, as well as a Supreme Court ruling that public monies could not properly be spent in promoting the government's opinion on a referendum proposal.

His other major project was the introduction of two wide-ranging anti-discrimination measures, the Employment Equality Bill, and the Equal Status Bill. These were struck down by the Supreme Court but revised versions were approved by the Government in the final months of Taylor's term of office, and were ultimately published and enacted during the following Dáil term.

Family[edit]

Taylor is married to Marilyn Fisher, who is the author of numerous books for young people. They have two sons and a daughter.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mr. Mervyn Taylor". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Jews in Twentieth-Century Ireland: Refugees, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust by Dermot Keogh. Cork University Press, 1998. ISBN 1-85918-149-X.
  3. ^ "Mervyn Taylor". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Brian Cowen
Minister for Labour
1993
Succeeded by
Office abolished
Department subsumed into Department of Enterprise and Employment
New office Minister for Equality and Law Reform
1993–1994
Succeeded by
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn
Preceded by
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn
Minister for Equality and Law Reform
1994–1997
Succeeded by
Office abolished
Department merged with Department of Justice