Oscar Traynor

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Oscar Traynor
Oscar Traynor
Minister for Justice
In office
20 March 1957 – 11 October 1961
Preceded by James Everett
Succeeded by Charles Haughey
Minister for Defence
In office
13 June 1951 – 2 June 1954
Preceded by Seán Mac Eoin
Succeeded by Seán Mac Eoin
In office
8 September 1939 – 18 February 1948
Preceded by Frank Aiken
Succeeded by Thomas F. O'Higgins
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs
In office
11 November 1936 – 8 September 1939
Preceded by Gerald Boland
Succeeded by Thomas Derrig
Personal details
Born (1886-03-21)21 March 1886
Dublin, Ireland
Died 15 December 1963(1963-12-15) (aged 77)
Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin
Religion Roman Catholic

Oscar Traynor (21 March 1886 – 15 December 1963) was an Irish politician and republican. He served in a number of cabinet positions, most notably as the country's longest-serving Minister for Defence.[1]

Oscar Traynor was born into a strongly nationalist family in Dublin. He was educated by the Christian Brothers in Dublin. In 1899 he was apprenticed to John Long, a famous wood-carver. As a young man he was a noted footballer and toured Europe as a goalkeeper with Belfast Celtic F.C. whom he played with from 1910 to 1912.

Traynor joined the Irish Volunteers and took part in the Easter Rising in 1916. Following this he was interned in Wales. During the Irish War of Independence he was brigadier of the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Republican Army and led the attack on The Custom House in 1921 and an ambush on the West Kent Regiment at Claude Road, Drumcondra on 16 June 1921 when the Thompson submachine gun was fired for the first time in action. When the Irish Civil War broke out in June 1922, Traynor took the republican side.

Traynor in July 1922 on O'Connell Street in Dublin

The Dublin Brigade was split however, with many of its members following Michael Collins in taking the pro-Treaty side. Traynor and his supporters tried to help the republicans who had occupied the Four Courts when they were attacked by Free State forces, by occupying O'Connell Street. Traynor and his men held out for a week of street fighting before making their escape. He organised guerilla activity in south Dublin and County Wicklow, before being captured by Free State troops in September. He was then imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

On 11 March 1925 he was elected to Dáil Éireann in a by-election as a Sinn Féin TD for the Dublin North constituency, though he did not take his seat due to the abstentionist policy of Sinn Féin.[2] He was re-elected as one of eight members for Dublin North in the June 1927 general election but just one of six Sinn Féin TDs.[3] Once again he did not take his seat. Traynor did not contest the second general election called that year but declared his support for Fianna Fáil.[4] He stood again in the 1932 general election and was elected as a Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin North.

In 1936 he was first appointed to the Cabinet as Minister for Posts and Telegraphs. In September 1939 Traynor was appointed Minister for Defence and held the portfolio to February 1948. In 1948 he became President of the Football Association of Ireland, a position he held until his death. He served as Minister for Defence in several Fianna Fáil governments and as Minister for Justice before he retired in 1961.

Oscar Traynor died on 15 December 1963, in Dublin at the age of 77.[5]

He has a road named in his memory on the Coolock to Santry stretch in North Dublin.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mr. Oscar Traynor". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Oscar Traynor". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  3. ^ The Times, Free State Election, 13 June 1927
  4. ^ The Times, Irish Election. A Heavy Poll 16 September 1927
  5. ^ Irish Times. 16 December 1963.
Political offices
New office Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence
1936
Succeeded by
Seán O'Grady
Preceded by
Gerald Boland
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs
1936–1939
Succeeded by
Thomas Derrig
Preceded by
Frank Aiken
Minister for Defence
1939–1948
Succeeded by
Thomas F. O'Higgins
Preceded by
Seán Mac Eoin
Minister for Defence
1951–1954
Succeeded by
Seán Mac Eoin
Preceded by
James Everett
Minister for Justice
1957–1961
Succeeded by
Charles Haughey