Minister Information

Patrick Hillery

Patrick John Hillery (Irish: Pádraig J. Ó hIrghile; 2 May 1923 – 12 April 2008) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who served as the sixth president of Ireland from December 1976 to December 1990. He also served as vice-president of the European Commission and European commissioner for Social Affairs from 1973 to 1976, minister for External Affairs from 1969 to 1973, minister for Labour from 1966 to 1969, minister for Industry and Commerce from 1965 to 1969 and minister for Education from 1959 to 1965. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Clare constituency from 1951 to 1973.In 1973, he was appointed Ireland’s first European Commissioner, upon Ireland’s accession to the European Economic Community, serving until 1976, when he became President of Ireland. He served two terms in the presidency. Though seen as a somewhat lacklustre president, he was credited with bringing stability and dignity to the office, and won widespread admiration when it emerged that he had withstood political pressure from his own Fianna Fáil party during a political crisis in 1982.