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Text and Research: Brendan Lynn ... Edited and Compiled: Martin Melaugh
Material is added to this site on a regular basis - information on this page may change

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Surname: A B C D E F G H I J K L M Mc N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

| Lawson | Lemass | Lenihan | Leslie | Lynch |

Lawson, Richard George (General) (b.24 November 1924)
British Army Soldier; General Officer Commanding (GOC) Northern Ireland 1980-82
[Entry to be included at a later date]


Lemass, Séan (b. 15 July 1899)
Politician; Fianna Fáil (FF) TD; Taioseach (Prime Minister Republic of Ireland) 1959-66
[Entry to be included at a later date]


Lenihan, Brian Joseph (b. 1930)
Politician; Fianna Fáil (FF) TD; Irish Foreign Minister January-March 1973, 1979-81 and 1987-89

Brian Lenihan had pursued a legal career before entering full-time politics with his election in 1961 to the Dáil as a Fianna Fáil (FF) TD for the constituency of Roscommon-Leitrim (1961-73). Later he went onto represent Dublin West (1977-95). Lenihan's was appointed a junior minister in 1964 and entered the Cabinet in 1968 as Minister for Education (1968-69). As well he was also to serve in a number of other government positions including those of Minister of Transport and Power (1969-73); Minister for Foreign Affairs (January-March 1973, 1979-81, 1987-89); Tánaiste and Minister for Defence (1989-90). With regards to Northern Ireland, Leninhan's main involvement came during his spells as Minister of Foreign Affairs. For instance during the period 1979 to 1981 he had to deal with the impact of the Republican hunger strikes and between 1987 to 1989 he was responsible for the operation of the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) as co-chairman of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.

Book References:
Collins, Stephen. (2000), The Power Game: Fianna Fáil Since Lemass. Dublin: O'Brien.
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
Web Sources:
http://www.rte.ie/culture/millennia/people/lenihanbrian.html
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 30 March 2003]


Leslie, James Seymour (b. 1 March 1958)
Politician; Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MLA 1998-2003

James Leslie was born in Singida, Tanzania in 1958, where his father was working as a colonial civil servant but the family returned to their family home near Ballymoney, County Antrim, a year later in 1959. Leslie was educated at Dalriada School, Ballymoney; Eton College, Windsor; and Queens’ College, Cambridge; from where he graduated in 1979 with a degree in Law and Land Economy. He then pursued a career in banking and investment management with Standard Chartered Bank (1980-84), Guinness, Mahon and Co. Ltd (1985-1987) and Guinness Flight Global Assets Management (1987-97). In 1997 he returned to settle in Northern Ireland and unsuccessfully contested the 1997 general election as the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) candidate for the Westminster constituency of North Antrim. In June 1998 Leslie was elected to the new Northern Ireland Assembly as one of the representatives for North Antrim (1998-2003) and served on the Assembly's Finance and Personnel Committee (1999-2002). Following a reshuffle of the UUP's Executive members in February 2002, Leslie was appointed Junior Minister in the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister and held the post until the suspension of the institutions under the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in October 2002.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Web Sources:
http://www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/
http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk/members/biogs/jleslie.htm
http://www.stratagem-ni.org/
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 26 November 2002; updated 9 June 2004]


Lynch, Jack (b. 15 August 1917)
Politician; Fianna Fáil (FF) TD; Taoiseach (Prime Minister Republic of Ireland) 1966-73 and 1977-79

Jack Lynch was born in Cork and educated at St Vincent's North Mon. before beginning work as a civil servant in the Department of Justice in Dublin. It was from this position that he later qualified as a barrister having completing his study at King's Inn, Dublin, and was called to the Bar in 1945. Prior to his entry into politics Lynch had made his name as a sportsman, playing Gaelic football and hurling for his native county of Cork.

In 1948 he was elected to the Dáil for the first time as a Fianna Fáil (FF) TD representing a seat in Cork City (1948-81) and after holding a number of junior government positions he joined the cabinet in 1957 as Minister of Education (1957-59). This was then followed with successful spells as Minister for Industry and Commerce (1959–65), and for Finance (1965–6), before in 1966 succeeding Sean Lemass as Taoiseach and as Leader of FF (1966-69). With regards to Northern Ireland, in his early years in office, Lynch sought to maintain the policy initiated by his predecessor of attempting to improve relations with the Unionist government led by Captain Terence O'Neill. This strategy however was unable to survive the growing civil unrest which was to erupt in the region in the summer of 1969 and his response was to provoke a considerable amount of controversy. Amongst unionists there was considerable anger at the language used by Lynch as the situation deteriorated in August 1969 whilst for many within the minority community his failure to intervene directly was to be heavily criticised.

In 1970 his problems mounted when he was forced to sack two of his cabinet as a result of allegations that they had been engaged in a plot to illegally import arms for possible use in Northern Ireland by nationalists, for what it was claimed to be for defensive purposes only. In the political turmoil that followed it appeared as if Lynch was about to be replaced but he managed to survive as he sought to regain his authority over the party. At the general election of 1973 however he was narrowly defeated and lost power. In spite of this setback, Lynch remained as leader of FF and in the 1977 general election returned as Taoiseach when his party won a huge majority. But this apparent position of strength masked a number of major problems for the new government most notably severe economic and social difficulties which needed to be urgently addressed. On top of these Lynch was faced with internal party squabbles as to what FF's policy should be towards Northern Ireland and while he favoured a more pragmatic approach there were many others who called for FF to emphasise its more traditional republican roots. By the end of 1979 faced with growing unrest over his leadership Lynch decided to resign as Taoiseach and as party leader.

Book References:
Collins, Stephen. (2000), The Power Game: Fianna Fáil Since Lemass. Dublin: O'Brien.
Dwyer, T. Ryle. (2001), Nice Fellow: a Biography of Jack Lynch. Dublin: Mercier Press.
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
O'Brien, Justin. (2000), The Arms Trial. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
Web Sources:
http://www.rte.ie/culture/millennia/people/lynchjack.html
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 26 November 2002]


Notes:
The information has been compiled from numerous primary and secondary sources.
The best general sources for additional information are:
  • Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory, 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
  • McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
  • Ramsden, John. (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    For related and background information see also:
  • The list of acronyms associated with 'the Troubles'
  • The glossary of terms related to the conflict
  • The abstracts on prominent organisations
  • The chronology of the conflict

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