Brendan Corish
Corish in 1949
Tánaiste
In office
14 March 1973 – 5 July 1977
TaoiseachLiam Cosgrave
Preceded byErskine H. Childers
Succeeded byGeorge Colley
Minister for Health
In office
14 March 1973 – 5 July 1977
TaoiseachLiam Cosgrave
Preceded byErskine Childers
Succeeded byCharles Haughey
Leader of the Labour Party
In office
2 March 1960 – 26 June 1977
Preceded byWilliam Norton
Succeeded byFrank Cluskey
Minister for Social Welfare
In office
14 March 1973 – 5 July 1977
TaoiseachLiam Cosgrave
Preceded byJoseph Brennan
Succeeded byCharles Haughey
In office
2 June 1954 – 20 March 1957
TaoiseachJohn A. Costello
Preceded byJames Ryan
Succeeded byPaddy Smith
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence
In office
18 February 1948 – 13 June 1951
TaoiseachJohn A. Costello
Preceded byÉamonn Kissane
Succeeded byDonnchadh Ó Briain
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Local Government
In office
18 February 1948 – 13 June 1951
TaoiseachJohn A. Costello
Preceded byErskine Childers
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Teachta Dála
In office
December 1945 – February 1982
ConstituencyWexford
Personal details
Born(1918-11-19)19 November 1918
Wexford, County Wexford, Ireland
Died17 February 1990(1990-02-17) (aged 71)
Wexford, Ireland
NationalityIrish
Political partyLabour Party
Spouse(s)Phyllis Corish
Children3

Brendan Corish (19 November 1918 – 17 February 1990) was an Irish Labour Party politician who served as Tánaiste and Minister for Health from 1973 to 1977, Leader of the Labour Party, Minister for Social Welfare from 1954 to 1957 and from 1973 to 1977, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Local Government from 1948 to 1951. He was a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1948 to 1982.[1]

Early and personal life

He was born at William Street in Wexford town. His father, Richard Corish, a well-known trade union official and Sinn Féin member, had been elected to the Second Dáil shortly after the birth of his son and later joined the Labour Party, serving as a local and national politician until his death in 1945. His mother was Catherine Bergin.

He was educated locally at Wexford CBS[2] and, in his youth, was a member of the 1st Wexford Scout troop (Scouting Ireland). At the age of nineteen, he joined the clerical staff of Wexford County Council.

He was married to Phyllis, and they had three sons.

He spent several years playing Gaelic football for the Wexford county team.[3]

Political career

Corish was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Labour Party candidate in the Wexford by-election in 1945, necessitated by the death of his father who was the sitting TD.[4] He took a seat on the fractured opposition benches, as Fianna Fáil's grip on power continued.

He retained his seat at the 1948 general election in which Fianna Fáil was returned as the largest party in the Dáil once again.[5] However, Fine Gael, the Labour Party, the National Labour Party, Clann na Poblachta, Clann na Talmhan and a number of Independent candidates all came together to form the first inter-party government. Corish was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministers for Defence and Local Government.

When the Second Inter-party Government was formed after the 1954 general election, Corish was appointed Minister for Social Welfare.[6]

In 1960 Corish succeeded William Norton as Labour Party leader.[4] He introduced new policies which made the party more socialist in outlook and described the party program as Christian socialist. However, the party moved carefully because 'socialism' was still considered a dirty word in 1960s Ireland. Corish claimed that Ireland would be 'Socialist in the Seventies'. To a certain extent he was right because Fine Gael and the Labour Party formed a coalition government between 1973 and 1977.[4][7] Corish became Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Social Welfare.[4]

In 1977, the Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave called a general election, and Fianna Fáil was returned to power in a landslide victory. Corish resigned as leader of the Labour Party, having signalled his intent to do so before the election.[4] He was succeeded as party leader by Frank Cluskey.[4] Corish retired from politics completely at the February 1982 general election.

Death

Brendan Corish died on 17 February 1990 in Wexford at the age of 71.

Works

References

  1. ^ "Brendan Corish". Oireachtas Members Database. Archived from the original on 15 December 2020. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Wexford CBS". Archived from the original on 24 February 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  3. ^ "'The propinquity between G.A.A. and politics has always been strong and it is no different in our own county, especially given the present climate.' G.A.A. and politics - the unbreakable bond". The Independent. Ireland. 24 April 2002. Archived from the original on 14 February 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f O'Leary, Cornelius (1979). Irish elections 1918–1977: Parties, voters and proportional representation. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-7171-0898-5.
  5. ^ "Brendan Corish". ElectionsIreland.org. Archived from the original on 20 January 2021. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  6. ^ Lyons, F.S.L. (1973). Ireland since the famine. Suffolk: Collins / Fontana. pp. 880. ISBN 0-00-633200-5.
  7. ^ The Dynamics of Irish Politics (1989) page 85
Political offices Preceded byEamonn Kissane Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence 1948–1951 Succeeded byDonnchadh Ó Briain Preceded byErskine H. Childers Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Local Government 1948–1951 Office abolished Preceded byJames Ryan Minister for Social Welfare 1954–1957 Succeeded byPaddy Smith Preceded byErskine H. Childers Tánaiste 1973–1977 Succeeded byGeorge Colley Preceded byPádraig Faulkner Minister for Health 1973–1977 Succeeded byCharles Haughey Preceded byJoseph Brennan Minister for Social Welfare 1973–1977 Party political offices Preceded byWilliam Norton Leader of the Labour Party 1960–1977 Succeeded byFrank Cluskey