James Tully (Irish politician)

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James "Jim" Tully (18 September 1915 – 20 May 1992) was an Irish trade unionist, politician and Deputy leader of the Labour Party who served as a minister in a series of Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition governments.[1]

A native of Carlanstown, near Kells in County Meath, Tully was educated in Carlanstown schools and in St. Patrick's Classical School in Navan. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Labour Party Teachta Dála (TD) for the Meath constituency at the 1954 general election.[2] He lost his seat at the 1957 general election, but was re-elected at the 1961 general election and served until 1982. When Labour entered into a coalition government with Fine Gael in 1973, he was appointed Minister for Local Government. While serving in that post he gained prominence for a massive increase in the building of public housing, and notoriety for an attempt to gerrymander Irish constituencies to ensure the re-election of the National Coalition at the 1977 general election. His electoral reorganisation effort via the Electoral (Amendment) Act 1974, which came to be called a "Tullymander", backfired spectacularly and helped engineer a landslide for the opposition, Fianna Fáil.[3]

Also as Minister for Local government Tully decided on alterations to the plans for the controversial Dublin Corporation Civic Offices.[4]

Tully was appointed Deputy Leader of the Labour Party under Michael O'Leary in 1981, and Minister for Defence in the short-lived 1981–82 Fine Gael-Labour Party government. In that capacity he traveled to Cairo in 1981 as Ireland's representative in Egypt's annual 6 October military victory parade. While in the reviewing stand, next to President Anwar Sadat, he suffered a shrapnel injury to his face when Sadat was assassinated by members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad who had infiltrated the Egyptian Army.

In 1982, a few months after the event, James Tully retired from politics. He died ten years later at the age of 76.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mr. James Tully". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  2. ^ "James Tully". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  3. ^ "Ireland, 1912–1985: politics and society by Joseph J. Lee". Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  4. ^ "Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dublin Civic Offices". Dáil Éireann. 7 February 1974.
Political offices
Preceded by
Bobby Molloy
Minister for Local Government
1973–1977
Succeeded by
Sylvester Barrett
Preceded by
Sylvester Barrett
Minister for Defence
1981–1982
Succeeded by
Paddy Power
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Séan Dunne
General Secretary of the Federation of Rural Workers
1954–1970s
Succeeded by
Paddy Murphy