Thomas G. "Tom" O'Donnell (born 30 August 1926) is an Irish former Fine Gael politician. He was born at Bulgaden, County Limerick and was educated at the Crescent College, Salesian College and University College Dublin where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree. He worked as a teacher and a voluntary community activist before becoming involved in politics.
O'Donnell was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1961 general election as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) for Limerick East. He was Opposition Front Bench spokesperson on Transport, Power and Tourism from 1969 to 1973. He served in the government on one occasion in the National Coalition under Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave between 1973 and 1977 as Minister for the Gaeltacht. He was Opposition Front Bench spokesperson on Telecommunications from 1977 to 1979. O'Donnell was elected to the European Parliament at the 1979 elections. He retired from national politics following the 1987 general election when he lost his seat. He was spokesperson on Regional Policy for the European People's Party (EPP) from 1979 to 1989.
After his retirement from politics he became actively involved in the voluntary sector. He was Chairperson of the Limerick Peace Institute at the University of Limerick, Chairperson of the PAUL Partnership, Chairperson to the Limerick City and County Strategy Group and the Limerick Employment Pact.
He was honoured by Limerick City Council with a civic reception and a special presentation in 2005 to mark half a century of his political and voluntary services to the people of Limerick City and County.
He is married to Helen O'Connor from Sligo, former Honorary National Secretary of Fine Gael; they have one son. His uncle Richard O'Connell was a Cumann na nGaedheal TD for Limerick from 1924 to 1932, and his nephew Kieran O'Donnell was a Fine Gael TD for Limerick East from 2007 to 2011 and for Limerick City from 2011 until 2016.
|Minister for the Gaeltacht