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My ancestors - Flanagan - Contents

Liam Cosgrave

Portrait of Liam Cosgrave.
From Leinster House.

Liam Cosgrave (see here).
Prime Minister of Ireland (Taoiseach) 1973-77.
He was born 13th Apr 1920.
His father W.T. Cosgrave was the first Prime Minister of Ireland (President) 1922-32.
Liam was educ Synge St Christian Bros and Castleknock College, Dublin.
He was a member of South County Dublin Harriers all his life, since school days.
BL King's Inns. Barrister-at-law 1943.
Served in army during "The Emergency" (WW2 in Ireland).

Fine Gael TD 1943-81:
His father W.T. Cosgrave was leader of Fine Gael (Leader of the Opposition) until 1944.
Liam followed him into politics and was elected TD in 1943 general election (age 23).
Fine Gael TD for Dublin County 1943-48.
Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire 1948-81.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Commerce in the Inter-Party Government of 1948-51.

He mar 1952, Co.Kildare, to Vera Osborne [born 1926, dau of Joseph W. Osborne and Helen Cunningham].
They were married by Fr. Paddy Flanagan.

Minister for External Affairs 1954-57:
Liam was Minister for External Affairs in Fine Gael/Labour coalition, 1954-57.
Ireland joined UN 1955. Liam addressed UN General Assembly 1956.
Senior Counsel 1958.
Leader of Fine Gael 1965-77.
Leader of the opposition 1965-73.

Taoiseach 1973-77:
Fine Gael and Labour won enough seats in 1973 election to form a coalition.
Liam was Prime minister of Ireland (Taoiseach) in Fine Gael/Labour coalition, 1973-77.
Negotiated the Sunningdale power-sharing agreement, Dec 1973. This was the only serious attempt to solve the Northern Ireland problem before the Good Friday power-sharing agreement of 1998. Sunningdale was brought down in 1974 by the loyalist strike, and bombs in Dublin and Monaghan. Nothing as ambitious was tried again for 20 years.

Liam famously voted against his own government's Family Planning Bill in July 1974 to legalise the sale of contraceptives. (Contraception had been banned in 1935. The ban was ruled unconstitutional in 1973.) The Bill failed. (Contraception was later legalised for married people in 1979 and for unmarried people in 1985.)
His Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, Conor Cruise O'Brien, enforced Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act to ban republican paramilitary speech from the airwaves. (Section 31 dated from 1971, amended by Cruise O'Brien in 1976.)
Fine Gael lost the 1977 election.
Liam resigned as leader of Fine Gael.

He was TD until 1981 when he retired. Succeeded as TD for Dun Laoghaire by his son Liam T. Cosgrave.
See his election record.
He had a long retirement and was the longest lived Irish head of government ever. (Though many international heads of government have lived longer.)
See Liam at launch of plaque to his father, 2013.
See Liam at launch of biography of his father, 2014.
Vera died 15 Sept 2016, age 90 yrs.
Liam died 4 Oct 2017, age 97 yrs.
Funeral 7 Oct 2017, burial at Goldenbridge.
Liam and Vera had issue:

  1. Mary Cosgrave.

  2. Liam T. Cosgrave,
    Fine Gael TD and Senator,
    mar Joan Bourke,
    Cathaoirleach of the Senate 1996-97,
    see election record,
    had issue:

    1. Barry Cosgrave.
    2. William Cosgrave.

  3. Ciaran Cosgrave,
    mar Catherine McDonnell.



1973 election.
From the Reeling in the Years series.

IRA kidnapping of Dutch businessman Tiede Herrema in 1975.
From the Reeling in the Years series.

The Assassination of British Ambassador Christopher Ewart-Biggs in 1976.
From the Reeling in the Years series.

Liam Cosgrave attacking English-born journalist Bruce Arnold, at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis, shortly before the 1977 election.

1977 election.
From the Reeling in the Years series.

W.T. Cosgrave opened Ardnacrusha Power Station in 1929. He was accompanied by his family.
His son Liam Cosgrave, who had been at the opening in 1929, returned to Ardnacrusha in 2012 for a ceremony to mark the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the ESB in 1927.
Jump to 16:20 here.
From ESB.

Liam Cosgrave speech at plaque unveiling, 2013

Liam Cosgrave speech at book launch, 2014

Photos of Liam Cosgrave

The "Jews and Arabs" legend

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