Clinton was born to a farming family at Moynalty, Kells, County Meath, in February 1915. He was known as an accomplished Gaelic footballer in his youth and played on the Meath GAA team defeated in the 1939 All Ireland by Kerry. He served as a member of Dublin County Council from 1955 and represented various County Dublin constituencies as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) from 1961 until his retirement from Dáil Éireann in 1981.
In 1973 he joined the Irish Government of Liam Cosgrave as Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries in the National Coalition. Clinton is best remembered as the Agriculture Minister who negotiated Ireland's entry into the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy, a development which brought billions of pounds to Irish farming and agri business. He served in government until 1977 and retired from the Dáil in 1981. Clinton also served in the European Parliament for the Leinster constituency from 1979 to 1989 and his political experience was recognised by his election as vice-president of that assembly.
Mark Clinton died in a Dublin nursing home on 23 December 2001, survived by his wife and six of his seven children.
|Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries
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