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Former Education and Economic Planning Minister Martin O'Donoghue dies aged 85

O’Donoghue was elected to the Dáil in 1977 as a TD for Dun Laoghaire.

Martin O'Donoghue
Martin O'Donoghue
Image: RollingNews.ie

MARTIN O’DONOGHUE, one of six TDs appointed as a minister on their first day in the Dáil, has died aged 85.

O’Donoghue was elected to the Dáil in 1977 as a TD for Dun Laoghaire. He had previously acted as an economic adviser to Taoiseach Jack Lynch, as well as the author of the manifesto which saw Fianna Fáil gain a 20-seat majority in the Dáil.

He would serve as Economic Planning and Development Minister from 1977 to 1979, when Charles Haughey became Taoiseach and abolished the position.

He would return to cabinet as Education Minister in 1982.

However, he would refuse to back Haughey in a leadership challenge that year and resigned from government. He would lose his seat in November 1982, the fourth general election he had faced in five years.

He entered the Seanad in 1983, where he sat until 1987. He returned to academia, where he was a professor of economics in Trinity College Dublin until his retirement in 1995 and a director of the Central Bank from 1998 to 2008.

O’Donoghue held a PHD in economics from Trinity, where he had attended as a mature student.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin expressed his sympathy at O’Donoghue’s death.

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“I knew Martin and he was a true gentleman. He was a committed public representative who had a long and distinguished career in national politics.

“On my own personal behalf and on behalf of the Fianna Fáil organisation I want to extend my deepest condolences to Martin’s wife Evelyn, children Audrey, Raphael and Tressan and brother Tom.



“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald added her condolences, calling O’Donoghue a “dedicated public servant”.

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