Paddy Donegan

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Paddy Donegan
Minister for Fisheries
In office
9 February 1977 – 5 July 1977
Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Brian Lenihan
Minister for Lands
In office
2 December 1976 – 9 February 1977
Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave
Preceded by Tom Fitzpatrick
Succeeded by Position abolished
Minister for Defence
In office
14 March 1973 – 2 December 1976
Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave
Preceded by Jerry Cronin
Succeeded by Liam Cosgrave
Teachta Dála
In office
October 1961 – June 1981
In office
May 1954 – March 1957
Constituency Louth
Personal details
Born (1923-10-29)29 October 1923
Monasterboice, Louth, Ireland
Died 26 November 2000(2000-11-26) (aged 77)
Dublin, Ireland
Political party Fine Gael
Spouse(s) Olivia Donegan
Children 4
Alma mater Castleknock College
Occupation Businessman, Farmer
Religion Roman Catholic

Patrick Sarsfield "Paddy" Donegan (29 October 1923 – 26 November 2000) was an Irish Fine Gael politician.[1]

He was educated at a Christian Brothers School in Drogheda, County Louth and at the Vincentian Castleknock College, County Dublin. Donegan was first elected as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) for the Louth constituency at the 1954 general election.[2] He lost his seat at the 1957 general election but was elected to Seanad Éireann by the Agricultural Panel. He regain his Dáil seat at the 1961 general election. In the Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition government which took power after the 1973 general election Donegan was appointed as Minister for Defence.

In October 1976 Donegan made a controversial speech on an official visit to the opening of new kitchen facilities in an army barracks at Mullingar. He described as a "thundering disgrace" President Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh's refusal to sign the Emergency Powers Act, 1976, instead using his powers under Article 26 of the Constitution to refer it to the Supreme Court.[3] The Taoiseach, Liam Cosgrave, refused Donegan's resignation, and instead Ó Dálaigh resigned as President of Ireland. The whole episode badly damaged the government's reputation.

In 1976 Donegan became Minister for Lands, and in 1977 he served briefly as Minister for Fisheries. Donegan retired from politics at the 1981 general election, and died in 2000. He was buried in his home town of Monasterboice.


  1. ^ "Mr. Patrick S. Donegan". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Patrick S. Donegan". Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Politicians pay tribute to Paddy Donegan". RTÉ News. 26 November 2000. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Jerry Cronin
Minister for Defence
Succeeded by
Liam Cosgrave
Preceded by
Tom Fitzpatrick
Minister for Lands
Succeeded by
Brian Lenihan