Irish general election, 1969

Irish general election, 1969

The Irish general election of 1969 was held on 18 June 1969, just over four years after its predecessor. It marked a third successive victory for the ruling Fianna Fáil party, led by Jack Lynch. The newly elected 144 members of the 19th Dáil assembled at Leinster House on 2 July when the new Taoiseach and government were appointed. The general election took place in 42 parliamentary constituencies throughout the Republic of Ireland for 144 seats in the lower house of parliament, Dáil Éireann.


The general election of 1969 saw two new leaders of the two main parties fight their first general election. Jack Lynch of Fianna Fáil became Taoiseach in 1966 and was attempting to win his first election. Liam Cosgrave took charge of Fine Gael in 1965 and was now leading his party into his first election. Brendan Corish was fighting his third general election as leader of the Labour Party.

Fianna Fáil had been in power since 1957 and in spite of media predictions the party was still very popular with the voters. The leader of the party, Jack Lynch, proved to be the party's biggest electoral asset. His quiet, easy-going and reassuring style, coupled with the catchy slogan "Let’s back Jack!" attracted many new voters to Fianna Fáil. The party had introduced many innovative pieces of legislation during the 1960s and was now looking for a fresh mandate. Fianna Fáil were also helped by a deeply divided opposition.

Fine Gael had internal divisions. There was tension between the older conservative members who wanted to keep the party as it was and the younger deputies who wanted to move the party to the left. One of the party's policies proposed to abolish compulsory Irish for State examinations and civil service jobs. The Labour Party on the other hand were predicted to make massive gains after firmly ruling out a pre-election pact with Fine Gael. The party had fielded a number of new, high-profile candidates, including Justin Keating, Conor Cruise O'Brien, David Thornley, and Noel Browne. The slogan "The Seventies will be Socialist" was popular with Labour supporters; however, Fianna Fáil played the "red card", linking Labour with communism. The tactic worked successfully.


First time TDs

A total of 37 TDs were elected for the first time:

* Peter Barry
* Michael Begley
* Seán Brosnan
* John Bruton
* Liam Burke
* Richard Burke
* Hugh Byrne
* Edward Collins
* John Conlon
* Ger Connolly
* Gerard Cott
* Bernard Cowen
* Kieran Crotty
* Conor Cruise O'Brien
* Noel Davern
* Barry Desmond
* Tom Enright
* Martin Finn
* Garret FitzGerald
* Paddy Forde
* Billy Fox
* Michael Herbert
* Thomas Hussey
* Liam Kavanagh
* Justin Keating
* Bill Loughnane
* Gerard Lynch
* Ray MacSharry
* Tom McEllistrim, Jnr
* Michael J. Noonan
* Michael O'Kennedy
* John O'Sullivan
* Paddy Power
* Michael Smith
* Frank Taylor
* David Thornley
* Jim Tunney

Outgoing TDs

* Lionel Booth
* John A. Costello
* Seán Lemass
* Seán MacEntee
* Michael O'Higgins (Lost seat)


* Patrick Cooney
* Patrick Delap
* Seán Sherwin
* Larry McMahon
* Patrick Malone
* Gene Fitzgerald

ee also

* Members of the 19th Dáil
* Government of the 19th Dáil
* Parliamentary Secretaries of the 19th Dáil

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