Former Minister And PD Founder...

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Former Minister And PD Founder Des O'Malley Dies Aged 82

Niall Colbert
Niall Colbert

11:34 AM - 21 Jul 2021



Former Minister and Progressive Democrats founder Des O'Malley has died at the age of 82.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin has described Mr O'Malley as " a major figure in Irish public affairs" who showed a "determination and a commitment to making Ireland a better place".

Des O'Malley was first elected as a TD in 1968.

He was returned to the Dáil by the people of Limerick on eleven consecutive occasions spanning a 34-year political career.

O'Malley was appointed Justice Minister in 1970 in the wake of the Arms Crisis.

He took a hardline with the IRA as Justice Minister - introducing the juryless Special Criminal Court to tackle jury intimidation.

He spoke about being armed with a pistol in those years as Minister due to the threat from paramilitaries.

O'Malley quit cabinet in 1982, and was expelled from Fianna Fáil in 1984 for defying the party whip in a vote on contraceptive reform.

In 1985 Des O'Malley was a founder of the Progressive Democrats and later led the party into a coalition government with Fianna Fail in 1989.

He stepped down as leader in 1993 but remained a TD until he retired in 2002.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has described Mr O'Malley as a "giant of Irish politics".



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Des O’Malley Fianna Fáil Minister Progressive Democrats

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