Martin O’Donoghue: ‘a committed public servant’

MINISTER: Martin O’Donoghue
MINISTER: Martin O’Donoghue

Former Government Minister Martin O’Donoghue has died, aged 85.

He was appointed to the new post of Minister for Economic Planning and Development by Taoiseach Jack Lynch on his first day in the Dail in 1977.

He was the chief author of the Fianna Fail election manifesto that year when the party achieved a 20-seat majority in the Dail. He was elected Fianna Fail TD for Dun Laoghaire.

Born in Dublin, he was educated in Crumlin and worked as a waiter. He became a mature student at Trinity College, Dublin and was appointed Associate Professor of Economics at the college in 1970. He was economic adviser to Taoiseach Jack Lynch for three years until 1973.

When Charles Haughey became Taoiseach in 1979, he abolished O’Donoghue’s role. Mr O’Donoghue returned to the Cabinet in 1982 as Minister for Education.

He resigned as Education Minister in October 1982 when he refused to support Mr Haughey in a leadership challenge. The following month, he lost his Dail seat in the general election. He was a Fianna Fail senator for five years until 1987 and later left the party to join the Progressive Democrats. He was a director of the Central Bank for a decade until 2008.

He is survived by his wife Evelyn, children Audrey, Raphael and Tressan, and his brother Tom.

Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Martin said he was “deeply saddened” by his death.

“He was a true gentleman. He was a committed public representative who had a long and distinguished career in national politics,” said Deputy Martin.

His funeral Mass will be in the Church of Saint Paul of the Cross, Mount Argus, Harold’s Cross, on Tuesday at 11.30am.

Sunday Independent

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