Patrick Cooney

Patrick (Paddy) Cooney (born 2 March 1931) is a former Irish politician of the Fine Gael party. Most notable as Minister for Justice from 1973 to 1977, he was a Teachta Dála (TD) for 15 years, a senator for four years, and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for five years.

Cooney was born in 1931 and was educated at Castleknock College. He first stood as a candidate for Dáil Éireann in the constituency at the 1961 general election, but failed to win a seat, and he was defeated again in 1965 and 1969. However, after the death of the Fianna Fáil TD Patrick Lenihan, Cooney was elected to the 19th Dáil in the Longford-Westmeath by-election in April 1970.

The 1973 general election brought a Fine Gael-Labour National Coalition government to power, and Cooney was appointed to Liam Cosgrave's Cabinet as Minister for Justice. In spite of being a high-profile Cabinet Minister he lost his seat at the 1977 general election but was elected to the 14th Seanad on the Cultural and Educational Panel. In 1979, in the first direct elections to the European Parliament, he stood unsuccessfully in the Connacht-Ulster constituency.

At the 1981 general election, he was returned to the Dáil again by his old Longford-Westmeath constituency. Cooney then held a number of positions in Garret FitzGerald's two governments. He was elected as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Leinster constituency in the 1989 European elections, and did not contest the 1989 Dáil election.


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