Billy Fox (politician)

Billy Fox (politician)

Infobox Politician
name = Billy Fox

width =
height =
caption =

office = Dáil Éireann
term_start = 1969
term_end = 1973
predecessor =
successor =
constituency = Monaghan
majority =
office2 = Seanad Éireann
term_start2 = 1973
term_end2 = 12 March 1974
predecessor2 =
successor2 =
constituency2 = Cultural and Educational Panel
majority2 =
birth_date = 3 January 1939
birth_place = County Monaghan, Ireland
death_date = 12 March 1974
death_place = Tircooney, County Monaghan
party = Fine Gael
religion = Protestant
footnotes =

Billy Fox (3 January 1939 – 12 March 1974) was a politician in the Ireland, a member of Dáil Éireann from 1969 to 1973, and of Seanad Éireann from 1973 until he was killed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) in March 1974. [ [ 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 [ associated with the Provisional movement] .] [According to an RTÉ documentary, the Provisional IRA were responsible for the killing. See [ "Rumours from Monaghan"] .]

A member of the Fine Gael party, Fox was first elected to Monaghan County Council in 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 Army were subsequently convicted of the murder. One of the convicted men, Sean Kinsella, later escaped from Portlaoise Prison and was later convicted of arms offences and attempted murder in England. He was released by the Irish government under the Belfast Agreement. [ [ Daily Telegraph Dublin frees nine IRA prisoners to aid peace talks] ] Some dissenting analysts suggest that the Official Irish Republican Army was 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 Oireachtas to 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 Aughnamullen is named in his memory. [ [ Coillte: Senator Billie Fox Park, Co. Cavan ] ]


External links

* [ 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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