John Mulholland (politician)

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John Mulholland (born 1946) was the Mayor of Galway from 1986–1987 and again from 1996–1997.

Mulholland was born in Dublin, the eldest of six children of Ned Mulholland of Kinnegad and Betty O'Donoghue of Ballingary, County Tipperary. The family moved to Galway in 1948. In 1968 he married Margaret Flynn of Letterfrack, and moved to London where he worked in a betting office and as a fingerprint officer at Scotland Yard. He returned to Galway to take charge of the family's betting shop. He and Margaret have children Alan, Lisa, Eddie and Aoife Mulholland. Mulholland expanded the business, and by the early 21st century owned ten betting shops.

Influenced by Garret FitzGerald, Mulholland stood for Fine Gael and was elected with a large majority for the city's South Ward in 1985, becoming Mayor the following year. Highlights included welcoming home the Galway Minor's team, who were All-Ireland Champions, and included his eldest child, Alan. On 10 October 1986 he officially opened the city's first purpose built City Hall. He was again elected Mayor in 1996, and oversaw occasions such as a civic reception for three-time Olympic Gold Medal winner, Michelle Smyth, leading Galway's highly successful business mission to Milwaukee and Chicago. As part of a fundraiser for Galway Hospice, Mayor Mulholland graciously allowed himself to be kidnapped, and ransomed from, "members of the notorious Galway Youth Federation." He was host to Chief Garry White Deer of the Choctaw Nation on his official visit to Galway; one hundred and fifty years earlier, the Choctaw Nation had sent famine relief to the people of Ireland, despite at the time been in the process of banishment from their homelands.


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Civic offices
Preceded by
Bridie O'Flaherty
Mayor of Galway
Succeeded by
Martin Connolly
Preceded by
Michéal Ó hUiginn
Mayor of Galway
Succeeded by
Michael Leahy