Dan Spring

For the Canadian ice hockey player, see Dan Spring (ice hockey).
Dan Spring
Teachta Dála
In office
23 June 1943  11 June 1981
Constituency Kerry North
Personal details
Born (1910-07-01)1 July 1910
Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland
Died 1 January 1988(1988-01-01) (aged 77)
Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Labour Party
Other political
National Labour Party (1944–50)
Dan Spring
Personal information
Sport Gaelic football
Position Full-Forward
Born Tralee, County Kerry
Years Club
1930's-1940's Kerins O'Rahilly's
Club titles
Kerry titles 2
Years County Apps (scores)
1934-1940 Kerry 13 (6-10)
Inter-county titles
Munster titles 4
All-Irelands 3
All Stars 0

Daniel "Dan" Spring (1 July 1910 – 1 January 1988) was an Irish politician who represented the Kerry North constituency in the Dáil, from 1943 to 1981.[1] He was a member of the Labour Party and was the father of Dick Spring, who led the Labour Party from 1982 to 1997.

Dan Spring was born into a working-class family in Tralee, County Kerry. He left school at the age of 14 and began his working life with a series of low-skilled jobs. When he was working at a mill, he became involved in the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union (ITGWU) and after a while became a trade union official.

Spring first became prominent neither as a politician nor as a trade unionist, but as a Gaelic football player. He was the captain of the Tralee Kerins O'Rahilly's team and captain of the Kerry county side when they won the All-Ireland final in 1940. Through this and his involvement with the ITGWU he became well-known enough to stand in Kerry North for the Labour Party at the 1943 general election. He was elected as the first Labour Party Teachta Dála (TD) in Kerry ever and held his seat until he retired in 1981.[2]

In 1944 Spring was among a group of 6 TDs who broke away from the Labour Party because it was allegedly infiltrated by communists and formed a new party they called the National Labour Party. The Labour Party and the National Labour Party reunited in 1950, having worked alongside each other in the First Inter-Party Government since 1948.

In 1956, during the term of the Second Inter-Party Government Spring was promoted to Parliamentary Secretary, which he held until the government ended in 1957.

For the rest of his political career Spring never held any significant post on a national level, and as a relatively conservative rural Labour man he fell out of step with the official line of the Labour Party, which moved significantly to the left during the 1960s and 1970s. During a vote on contraception, Spring famously said that on the day of the vote, his constituents would see how he stood on the issue. On the day of the vote, he appeared as a barrister in a court far away from the parliament. Spring concentrated on his constituency work and was returned in every election he stood in until he retired in 1981, his son Dick then successfully contesting the seat.

See also


  1. "Mr. Dan Spring". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  2. "Dan Spring". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
Preceded by
John O'Sullivan
(Fine Gael)
Labour Party Teachta Dála for Kerry North
Succeeded by
Dick Spring
(Labour Party)
Political offices
Preceded by
William Davin
Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister for Local Government

Succeeded by
Office abolished
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