1935-, Irish politician, prime minister of the Republic of Ireland (1992-95). A successful business executive, Reynolds won (1977) a seat in the Irish parliament as a member of the Fianna Fáil
party. He was minister of posts and telegraphs and of transport (1979-81), of energy (1982), and of industry and commerce (1987-88) under Prime Minister Charles Haughey
. In 1988 he became finance minister, but he resigned in 1991 after he challenged Haughey unsuccessfully for the party leadership. When Haughey later resigned (1992), Reynolds succeeded him. As prime minister, Reynolds worked to promote a settlement in Northern Ireland. In 1993 he and British prime minister John Major wrote the Downing Street Declaration, which led to a cease-fire in Northern Ireland. He resigned in late 1994 but served as caretaker prime minister into early 1995.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Copyright © 2004.
Licensed from Columbia University Press