Bill Attley

William A. "Bill" Attley (born 5 April 1938) is a former Irish trade unionist and referee.

Born in Rathcoole, Dublin, Attley studied at the National College of Industrial Relations. He became active in the Workers' Union of Ireland (WUI), being elected as a branch secretary in 1968, then Deputy General Secretary in 1977 and General Secretary from 1982.[1] In 1990, he led a merger of the WUI with the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, forming SIPTU (Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union), serving as joint General President until 1994,[1] then as General Secretary until his retirement in 1998.[2]

Outside trade unionism, Attley was active in the Labour Party,[1] and was a keen football referee, ultimately working with UEFA to recruit and train referees, and in his retirement becoming chief referee assessor for the Football Association of Ireland.[3]


  1. 1 2 3 Louis McRedmond, Modern Irish lives: dictionary of 20th-century Irish biography, p.6
  2. Gerald Flynn, "Tough union battle to replace Attley", Irish Independent, 5 March 1998
  3. Martin Fitzpatrick, Billy Attley", Irish Independent, 6 June 2004
Political offices
Preceded by
Paddy Cardiff
General Secretary of the Workers' Union of Ireland
Succeeded by
Position abolished
New office General President of SIPTU
Served alongside: Edmund Browne
Succeeded by
Edmund Browne
Preceded by
Christy Kirwan and ?
General Secretary of SIPTU
Succeeded by
John McDonnell
Preceded by
Edmund Browne
Treasurer of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions
Succeeded by
Jimmy Somers
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