Michael Smith (Irish politician)
February 1987 – May 2007
June 1977 – February 1982
June 1969 – February 1973
February 1983 – February 1987
|Constituency||Cultural and Educational Panel|
May 1982 – December 1982
8 November 1940|
Roscrea, County Tipperary
|Political party||Fianna Fáil|
Michael Smith (born 8 November 1940) is a former Irish Fianna Fáil politician. He was a Teachta Dála (TD) for Tipperary North on several occasions since 1969. He previously served in Seanad Éireann (1982–1987), as Minister for Energy (1988–1989), Minister for the Environment (1992–1994), Minister for Education (1994) and Minister for Defence (1997–2004).
Background and education
Smith was born in Roscrea, County Tipperary in 1940. He was educated at CBS Templemore in County Tipperary. Smith worked as a farmer before he entered Dáil Éireann at the 1969 general election as a Fianna Fáil TD for the Tipperary North constituency.
In 1980 Charles Haughey was Taoiseach and Smith was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture. Smith lost his Dáil seat again at the February 1982 general election, and failed to regain it at the November 1982 general election. He spent the next five years as a Senator in Seanad Éireann, elected first on the Agricultural Panel and then on the Cultural and Educational Panel, before his re-election to the Dáil at the 1987 general election.
When he was returned to the Dáil at the 1987 general election he became Minister of State at the Department of Energy. In 1988 he was appointed to Cabinet as the Minister for Energy. His stay as Minister was short because following the 1989 general election he was demoted to Minister of State for Science and Technology.
In 1992 he returned to Cabinet for two years as Minister for the Environment. In October 1997 he replaced David Andrews as Minister for Defence and held that position until he was dropped from the Cabinet in a reshuffle in 2004. During his tenure Smith dealt with the Army deafness compensation issue that ultimately resulted in claims of €300 million against the State.