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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Death of a Chieftain

Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds died this morning aged 81. He had served as Taoiseach for just under three years and is fondly remembered for his role in events leading up to the 1994 Provisional IRA ceasefire of twenty years ago this month.

A successful businessman he was first elected to Dail Eireann in 1977 when the party was still led by Jack Lynch. He would later mount an unsuccessful leadership challenge against Charles Haughey for which he was expelled form the cabinet.
Widely reputed to be man unafraid to take a risk, one snippet from a conversation he had with Sean Duignan revealed something of the Reynolds character. He told Duignan
The main thing to remember about being in this job is that you’re here to make decisions, and that involves taking risks … You cannot get all the decisions right, but you’ll have no hope at all if you try to play it safe, and duck taking them … You’ve got to be prepared to take the responsibility and also, if you get it wrong, to take the consequences.
He earned the moniker "the Longford Slasher" after he purged the cabinet of senior and junior ministers in one of the biggest cabinet shake ups in the history of the state.

25th January 1989: the presentation of the Budget of Albert Reynolds,TD, Minister for Finance
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