Hugh Coveney

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Hugh Coveney
Minister of State at the Department of Finance
In office
24 May 1995 – 10 February 1995
Taoiseach John Bruton
Preceded by Jim Higgins
Succeeded by Martin Cullen
Minister for the Marine
In office
15 December 1994 – 23 May 1995
Taoiseach John Bruton
Preceded by David Andrews
Succeeded by Seán Barrett
Minister for Defence
In office
15 December 1994 – 23 May 1995
Taoiseach John Bruton
Preceded by David Andrews
Succeeded by Seán Barrett
Teachta Dála
In office
November 1994 – March 1998
In office
November 1982 – February 1987
In office
June 1981 – February 1982
Constituency Cork South-Central
Personal details
Born Hugh Patrick Coveny
(1935-07-20)20 July 1935
Douglas, Cork, Ireland
Died March 14, 1998(1998-03-14) (aged 62)
Crosshaven, Cork, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Fine Gael
Spouse(s) Pauline Coveney (m. 1969; d. 1998)
Children
  • Simon
  • Patrick
  • Andrew
  • Rebecca
  • David
Alma mater University College Cork
Religion Roman Catholicism

Hugh P. Coveney (20 July 1935 – 14 March 1998) was an Irish Fine Gael politician, and a noted yachtsman. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for Cork South-Central from 1981 to 1987, and again from 1994 to 1998. He served as Minister for Defence and Minister for the Marine from 1994 to 1995. He served as Minister of State at the Department of Finance from 1995 to 1997.[1]

Early life[edit]

Hugh Coveney was born into one of Cork's prosperous "merchant prince"[citation needed] families in 1935. He was educated at Christian Brothers College, Cork, Clongowes Wood College and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. He worked as a chartered quantity surveyor before entering politics.

Political career[edit]

Coveney was Lord Mayor of Cork from 1982 to 1983. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fine Gael TD for Cork South–Central constituency at the 1981 general election.[2] He lost his seat in the first general election of 1982 but regained it in the second election in the same year. He lost his seat again in 1987 general election and did not contest the 1992 general election. He was elected to the Dáil again in 1994 in a by-election.

He was first appointed to the Cabinet in 1994 under John Bruton. Coveney was appointed Minister for Defence and Minister for the Marine. However, he was demoted to a junior ministry the following year after allegations of improper contact with businessmen.[citation needed]

Yachting[edit]

Coveney's yacht Golden Apple of The Sun (designed by Cork-based designer Ron Holland) was a successful competitor in the Admiral's Cup in the 1970s.

A later 50-foot (15 m) yacht Golden Apple was used by the family for the "Sail Chernobyl" project. The family sailed around the world to raise €650,000 for the Chernobyl Children's Project, a charity which offers assistance to children affected by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Death[edit]

In March 1998 it became publicly known that the Moriarty Tribunal had questioned Coveney about whether he had a secret offshore account with Ansbacher Bank, a bank which had become notorious for facilitating tax-evasion. Ten days later, on 13 March 1998, Coveney visited his solicitor to change his will. The next day, 14 March 1998, Coveney died in a fall from a seaside cliff while out walking alone. His son, Simon Coveney, insisted that his father had never held an Ansbacher account.[3] It later emerged that Hugh Coveney had $175,000 on deposit in the secret Cayman Island-based bank. The account was closed in 1979.[4]

Simon Coveney was later elected to succeed his father in the resulting by-election on 3 November 1998.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mr. Hugh Coveney". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Hugh Coveney". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Roche, Barry (1999-02-28). "Coveney changed will on the day before his death". Irish Independent. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Hugh Coveney `had $175,000 in Cayman'". Irish Independent. 11 February 2000. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
Civic offices
Preceded by
Paud Black
Lord Mayor of Cork
1982
Succeeded by
John Dennehy
Political offices
Preceded by
David Andrews
Minister for Defence
1994–1995
Succeeded by
Seán Barrett
Minister for the Marine
1994–1995
Preceded by
Jim Higgins
Minister of State at the Department of Finance
1995–1997
Succeeded by
Martin Cullen