Patrick J. Reynolds

For other people named Patrick Reynolds, see Patrick Reynolds (disambiguation).
Patrick Reynolds
Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann
In office
23 February 1983  25 April 1987
President Patrick Hillery
Preceded by Tras Honan
Succeeded by Tras Honan
Personal details
Born (1920-11-25)25 November 1920
Killellan, Leitrim, Ireland
Died 27 December 2003(2003-12-27) (aged 83)
Ballinamore, Leitrim, Ireland

Patrick Joseph Reynolds (25 November 1920 – 27 December 2003) was an Irish Fine Gael politician who served three terms in Dáil Éireann and five in Seanad Éireann, where he was Cathaoirleach (chairman) for four years.[1]

Family and early life

Reynolds was born in Killellan, County Leitrim in 1920. His father Patrick Reynolds was elected as a Cumann na nGaedheal Teachta Dála (TD) for Leitrim–Sligo at the September 1927 general election, but was fatally shot during the 1932 general election campaign. The election in Leitrim–Sligo was postponed, and his mother Mary won the seat, serving the Dáil for 29 years.[2]

He was educated locally, receiving only a primary school education before his father's death forced him to leave school and join the family business.[3] He built the business successfully, transforming the hardware shop which he had inherited from into one of the largest builders' suppliers and hardware merchants in the north west.[4]

With his wife Tess, he had two sons, Gerry and Peter, and two daughters, Ita and Regina.[5] Gerry continued the family's political tradition, serving like his father as a Fine Gael TD and senator.

Political career

Reynolds was first elected to Leitrim County Council in 1943, and served as a councillor for more than 40 years, taking a particular interest in rural electrification and group water schemes.[3] He was the longest-serving chairman of the council, holding the office for 12 years from 1967 to 1979.[4]

He was first elected to the 17th Dáil at the 1961 general election, as a TD for the Roscommon constituency. He was re-elected at the 1965 general election, but at the 1969 general election he was defeated in the new Roscommon–Leitrim constituency. He was then elected to the 12th Seanad by the Administrative Panel.[6]

The 1960s proved to be a fallow period for Fine Gael as the party was out of power for the entire decade, but at the 1973 general election a Fine Gael–Labour Party coalition government came to power and Reynolds was elected to the 20th Dáil for Roscommon–Leitrim.[6] In 1976, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education and the Public Service. In spite of this appointment, Reynolds lost his Dáil seat at the 1977 general election. Following this defeat, he secured election to the 14th Seanad on the Industrial and Commercial Panel, which re-elected him to the 15th Seanad in 1981, the 16th Seanad in 1982 and 17th Seanad in 1983.

He was elected on 23 February 1983 as Cathaoirleach of the 17th Seanad,[7] succeeding Tras Honan. He held the office until he stepped down from the Seanad at the 1987 election.

Reynolds died on 27 December 2003, aged 83, and was buried in his home town of Ballinamore, County Leitrim.[4] Tributes in the Seanad after his death described him as a traditionalist or conservative, but praised his warmth, fairness and integrity,[5] and the Irish Independent described his hospitality as "legendary".[4]

See also


  1. "Mr. Patrick Joseph Reynolds". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  2. McNamara, Maedhbh; Mooney, Paschal (2000). Women in Parliament: Ireland 1918–2000. Wolfhound Press, Dublin. p. 91. ISBN 0-86327-759-4.
  3. 1 2 "Former TD was 'synonymous with Fine Gael in Leitrim'". The Irish Times. 3 January 2004. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Obituary:Pat Joe Reynolds". Sunday Independent. 4 January 2004. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
  5. 1 2 "Official Report (Seanad Éireann), Volume 175, 21 January 2004, Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy". Oireachtas. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  6. 1 2 "Patrick Reynolds". Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  7. "Official Report (Seanad Éireann), Volume 100, 23 February 1983: Election of Cathaoirleach". Oireachtas. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
Political offices
Preceded by
John Bruton
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education
Succeeded by
Jim Tunney
New office Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Public Service
Succeeded by
Office abolished
Preceded by
Tras Honan
Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann
Succeeded by
Tras Honan
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