- Billy Fox (politician)
name = Billy Fox
term_start = 1969
term_end = 1973
constituency = Monaghan
term_start2 = 1973
term_end2 = 12 March 1974
Cultural and Educational Panel
birth_date = 3 January 1939
County Monaghan, Ireland
death_date = 12 March 1974
death_place = Tircooney,
Billy Fox (3 January 1939 – 12 March 1974) was a politician in the Ireland, a member of
Dáil Éireannfrom 1969 to 1973, and of Seanad Éireannfrom 1973 until he was killed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army(IRA) in March 1974. [ [http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/sutton/alpha/F.html The Malcolm Sutton Index of Deaths] , widely considered to be the authoritative source on the conflict-related deaths of the Troubles, claims Fox was killed by the "Irish Republican Army", which, according to Sutton's categorisation, is "Provisional Irish Republican Army". (Official IRA killings are attributed to the "Official Irish Republican Army". Moreover, those found guilty of the murder are [http://republican-news.org/archive/1997/March06/06sean.html associated with the Provisional movement] .] [According to an RTÉ documentary, the Provisional IRA were responsible for the killing. See [http://www.rte.ie/radio1/doconone/1099677.html "Rumours from Monaghan"] .]
A member of the
Fine Gaelparty, Fox was first elected to Monaghan County Councilin 1967, and as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála(TD) to the Dáil for the Monaghan constituency in the 1969 general election. This was the first time ever that Fine Gael won two seats out of three in Monaghan, a county along the Republic of Ireland's border with Northern Ireland. Monaghan has traditionally had strong republican leanings and Fine Gael had often polled poorly there in the past. Fox was also one of a handful of members of Dáil Éireann (TDs) from the minority Protestant community.
The outbreak of political unrest and violence in
Northern Ireland, and a corresponding increase in republican sentiment, may have contributed to the loss of the second Fine Gael seat in Monaghan, against the national trend, in the 1973 general election when Fox was defeated. Later that year however he was elected to the 13th Seanad by the Cultural and Educational Panel.
On 12 March 1974, he went to visit the home of his fiancée in rural County Monaghan, as he did on all Mondays. 13 armed paramilitaries had occupied the house in Tircooney (near
Clones). He ran from the scene but was followed and shot dead.
Five members of the
Provisional Irish Republican Armywere subsequently convicted of the murder. One of the convicted men, Sean Kinsella, later escaped from Portlaoise Prisonand was later convicted of arms offences and attempted murderin England. He was released by the Irish governmentunder the Belfast Agreement. [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/htmlContent.jhtml?html=/archive/1997/12/19/wdub19.html Daily Telegraph Dublin frees nine IRA prisoners to aid peace talks] ] Some dissenting analysts suggest that the Official Irish Republican Armywas actually responsible. [The IRA by Tim Pat Coogan p357 - ISBN 0-00-653155-5;] [Tim Pat Coogan, "Disillusioned Decades", Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1987 p520 - ISBN 0-09-941522-4]
He was the first member of the
Oireachtasto be killed since the assassination of the then Minister for Justice Kevin O'Higgins(also by the IRA) in 1927.
The Senator Billy Fox Memorial Park in
Aughnamullenis named in his memory. [ [http://www.coillte.ie/community/community_partnerships/ulster/ Coillte: Senator Billie Fox Park, Co. Cavan ] ]
* [http://www.finegael.ie/fine-gael-news.cfm/year/2006/month/4/action/detail/newsid/23651/level/page/aid/10/ Speech in April 2004 by Fine Gael Leader John Bruton after a Memorial Service for the late Senator Billy Fox in Aughnamullen Church]
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