Michael J. Noonan (Fianna Fáil)

Michael J. Noonan (4 August 1935 – 17 September 2013) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician. He served as Minister for Defence from 1987 until 1989.[1]

Michael J. Noonan was born in Bruff, County Limerick in 1935. He was educated locally at Salesian College in Limerick, before graduating from University College Cork with a Diploma in Rural Science. Following his education Noonan worked as a farmer before becoming involved in politics. He first entered local politics when he was elected to Limerick County Council in 1967 and remained a member of this council until 1991. Noonan was elected to Dáil Éireann on his first attempt as a Fianna Fáil TD for the Limerick West constituency at the 1969 general election.[2]

Noonan was a supporter of Charles Haughey in the Fianna Fáil leadership election in 1979. He was rewarded by Haughey by joining the party's front bench in 1983 as spokesperson on Agriculture. Noonan was appointed Minister for Defence in 1987. He caused some controversy in this role and got into conflict with the Irish Army over the issue of pay. After the 1989 general election when Fianna Fáil went into coalition with the Progressive Democrats, Noonan was the major casualty to accommodate the new ministers. He was appointed a Minister of State and remained in this office until 1992. When Albert Reynolds became Taoiseach, Noonan was sacked.

Noonan subsequently retired to the backbenches. He remained a controversial figure by voting against the Divorce referendum bill in the Dáil and lost the Fianna Fáil party whip as a result. He retired from political life at the 1997 general election.[2]

He died on 17 September 2013.[3]


  1. "Mr. Michael J. Noonan". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  2. 1 2 "Michael J. Noonan". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  3. "Former FF Minister Michael J Noonan dies aged 78". RTÉ News. 18 September 2013.
Political offices
Preceded by
Paddy O'Toole
Minister for Defence
Succeeded by
Brian Lenihan
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