Austin Currie


Austin Currie

Austin Currie (born 11 October 1939) is a former Irish politician, having been elected to the parliaments of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Austin Currie was born in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland into a large Catholic family. He was educated in Dungannon and at the Queen's University of Belfast. Between 1964 and 1972 he was elected as Stormont MP for East Tyrone. He became an active member in the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association. In 1970 he was a founder of the group that established the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). From 1973 to 1974 Currie was a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly. In 1974 he became chief whip of the SDLP. That same year he became Minister for Housing, Local Government and Planning in the Northern Ireland Executive.

He contested the 1979 UK General Election and 1986 by-election in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone seat. He also was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1982 for the same seat.

By 1989, Currie had decided to move south, and in the general election of that year he was elected as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála for a Dublin constituency.

In 1990 he was the Fine Gael candidate in the presidential election. However, after procrastination on Fine Gael's part in choosing a candidate he came third after Mary Robinson and Brian Lenihan. In the Rainbow Coalition between 1994 and 1997 he became Minister of State at the Departments of Education, Justice and Health. In the 2002 general election he lost his seat in Dáil Éireann when he failed to be elected in Dublin Mid West. He immediately announced his retirement from politics.

Reading

*Austin Currie, 'All Hell Will Break Loose,' O'Brien Press, Dublin, 2004.

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