Patrick Lenihan
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Patrick Lenihan

Patrick Lenihan
Teachta Dála

April 1965 - 11 March 1970
Personal details
Born(1902-09-04)4 September 1902
Kilfenora, County Clare, Ireland
Died11 March 1970(1970-03-11) (aged 67)
Athlone, County Westmeath, Ireland
Spouse(s)Anne Scanlon
(m. 1925; d. 1970)
Children3, including Brian and Mary
Alma materNUI Maynooth
Military service
AllegianceIrish Republican Brotherhood
Years of service1919-1922
Battles/warsIrish War of Independence

Patrick J. Lenihan (4 September 1902 - 11 March 1970) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Longford-Westmeath constituency from 1965 to 1970.[1]

He held the distinction of being the only parent to be elected to the Oireachtas where his child was already a member.

Born in Kilfenora, County Clare, he was an Inspector of Taxes in Dundalk, County Louth, before being appointed by Seán Lemass to run the Gentex textiles company in Athlone. At its height it was the major employer in the Midlands. He also was involved for some years in the Hodson Bay Hotel on Lough Ree, and was instrumental in the establishment of the All-Ireland amateur drama festival.

He was elected as a Fianna Fáil TD at his first attempt, for the Longford-Westmeath constituency at the 1965 general election.[2] He beat the long-serving Fine Gael TD Seán Mac Eoin in the famous "long count". His son Brian Lenihan had been elected in the neighbouring constituency of Roscommon in 1961, at the previous election. It was the first, and to date only, occasion of a child preceding his parent into the Dáil. Patrick Lenihan was re-elected to the Dáil at the 1969 general election and died suddenly in 1970. His seat was taken at the subsequent by-election by Fine Gael's Patrick Cooney who subsequently went on to serve as a Minister.

Two of his children, Brian Lenihan Snr and Mary O'Rourke, served as Irish cabinet ministers. A third, Paddy, served as a member of Roscommon County Council; in the later stages of his career in the 1980s, he left Fianna Fáil to join Neil Blaney's Independent Fianna Fáil. Two of Patrick Lenihan's grandchildren, Brian Lenihan Jnr and Conor Lenihan, served as Minister for Finance and Minister of State respectively in the government of Brian Cowen. Conor Lenihan and Mary O'Rourke lost their seats at the 2011 general election.[3] Brian Lenihan Jnr was re-elected but died in June 2011, ending the Lenihans' fifty years of continuous service in the Oireachtas.

Patrick Lenihan was the only member of his family to serve in the Dáil who was not appointed a Minister at some stage in his career.

He also had some success as a hurler with Westmeath during the 1930s. He won a Leinster Junior Hurling Championship and an All-Ireland Junior Hurling Championship in 1936. The following year he played in (to date) Westmeath's only Leinster Senior Hurling Championship final, in which they lost out to Kilkenny.

See also


  1. ^ "Patrick Lenihan". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ "Patrick Lenihan". Retrieved 2012.
  3. ^ Holton, Kate (26 February 2011). "Lenihan, face of Irish crisis, survives election". Reuters.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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