James Tully (politician)


James Tully (politician)

James (Jim) Tully (18 September 1915—20 May 1992) was a prominent Irish trade unionist, politician and Deputy Leader of the Irish Labour Party who served as a minister in a series of Fine Gael-Labour Irish coalition governments.

A native of Carlanstown, near Kells in County Meath, Tully was educated in Carlanstown schools and in St. Patrick's Classical School in Navan. He served as a member of Dáil Éireann (TD) for Meath from 1954 to 1957 and from 1961 to 1982. When Labour entered into a coalition government with Fine Gael in 1973, he was appointed Minister for Local Government. While serving in that post he gained prominence for a massive increase in the building of public housing, and notoriety for an attempt to gerrymander Irish constituencies to ensure the re-election of the National Coalition in the 1977 general election. His electoral reorganization effort, which came to be called a Tullymander, backfired spectacularly and helped engineer a landslide for the opposition.

Tully was appointed Deputy Leader of Labour under Michael O'Leary in 1981, and Minister for Defence in the shortlived 1981-82 Fine Gael-Labour government. In that capacity he traveled to Cairo in 1981 as Ireland's representative in Egypt's annual 6 October military victory parade. While in the reviewing stand, next to President Anwar Sadat, he suffered a shrapnel injury to his face when Sadat was assassinated by members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad who had infiltrated the Egyptian Army.

In 1982, a few months after the event, James Tully retired from politics. He died ten years later at the age of 76.

External links

* [http://www.electionsireland.org/candidate.cfm?ID=2443 James Tully's electoral history at ElectionsIreland.org]

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