49 Facts About Albert Reynolds


Albert Martin Reynolds was an Irish Fianna Fail politician who served as Taoiseach from 1992 to 1994, Leader of Fianna Fail from 1992 to 1994, Minister for Finance from 1988 to 1991, Minister for Industry and Commerce from 1987 to 1988, Minister for Industry and Energy from March 1982 to December 1982, Minister for Transport from 1980 to 1981 and Minister for Posts and Telegraphs from 1979 to 1981.


Albert Reynolds served as a Teachta Dala from 1977 to 2002.


Albert Reynolds was educated at Summerhill College in County Sligo, and found work as a clerk with CIE, the state transport service, in the 1950s.


Albert Reynolds left what many would consider being a "job for life" in the state company and moved into the showband scene, coming to own several dance halls in his local area.


Albert Reynolds became wealthy from this venture during the 1960s when dance halls proved extremely popular.


Albert Reynolds invested his money in several businesses, including a pet food company, a bacon factory, a fish-exporting operation and a hire purchase company.


Albert Reynolds had business interests in local newspapers and a cinema.


Albert Reynolds was a traditional family man and had a happy home life with his wife Kathleen and their seven children.


Albert Reynolds developed a network of business contacts both nationally and internationally.


Albert Reynolds became interested in politics at the time of the Arms Crisis in 1970, a controversial episode in which two government ministers, Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Neil Blaney and Minister for Finance Charles Haughey, were removed from the government over an attempt to send arms to Northern Ireland, where thousands of Catholic families had been driven from their homes, of whom 1,000 had fled across the border to the Republic.


Albert Reynolds became a member of the so-called "gang of five" politicians of a strong rural background, with Jackie Fahey, Mark Killilea Jnr, Tom McEllistrim and Sean Doherty, which aligned itself to Charles Haughey and supported him in the subsequent leadership contest.


Albert Reynolds was rewarded for his staunch loyalty by joining the newly elected Taoiseach Charles Haughey's cabinet as Minister for Posts and Telegraphs.


Albert Reynolds was appointed Minister for Transport, making his brief one of the largest and most wide-ranging in the government.


Albert Reynolds returned to government as Minister for Industry and Energy.


Albert Reynolds was responsible for developing the Dublin to Cork gas pipeline.


That government fell in late 1982, and Albert Reynolds was back on the opposition benches.


Albert Reynolds gave him his support at all times, and Haughey survived, defeating his opponents and critics within the party.


In 1987, Fianna Fail returned to government, and Albert Reynolds was appointed Minister for Industry and Commerce, one of the most senior positions in the cabinet, especially when the government's top priority was economic recovery.


In 1988, Minister for Finance Ray MacSharry became Ireland's European Commissioner, and Albert Reynolds succeeded MacSharry in the most powerful department in government.


Albert Reynolds headed the Fianna Fail negotiation team with another minister, Bertie Ahern.


Albert Reynolds easily defeated his rivals Mary O'Rourke and Michael Woods in the party leadership election and succeeded Haughey as Taoiseach on 11 February 1992.


Albert Reynolds promoted several long-time critics of Haughey, like David Andrews, Seamus Brennan and Charlie McCreevy, to senior ministerial positions.


Albert Reynolds promoted younger TDs from rural constituencies, such as Noel Dempsey and Brian Cowen, to cabinet positions.


Albert Reynolds tried to find a middle ground but alienated both the Catholic Church and those who sought abortion rights.


Albert Reynolds negotiated considerable benefits for Ireland from the European Union regional aid budget in the aftermath of the Danish rejection of the Maastricht Treaty.


Albert Reynolds then sought a dissolution of the Dail from the president, Mary Robinson.


Albert Reynolds was alleged to have juxtaposed and misquoted sections of the report in issuing a rebuttal before the report became public.


Albert Reynolds remained involved in discussions with Northern Ireland's nationalist parties and, along with John Hume, persuaded the Provisional Irish Republican Army to call a complete ceasefire on 31 August 1994.


In September 1994, Albert Reynolds was left standing on the tarmac at Shannon Airport by Russian president Boris Yeltsin, who failed to emerge from his plane to meet awaiting Irish dignitaries.


Albert Reynolds had decided to reappoint Attorney General Harry Whelehan when the government was formed in 1992.


The coalition appeared to be finished, but Albert Reynolds still held out for the chance to patch things up.


Albert Reynolds went before the Dail and said that if he had known "then" what he "knew now" about the incompetent handling of the case by the AG's office, he would not have appointed Whelehan to the judicial post.


However, Albert Reynolds was damaged politically, appearing more interested in holding on to power than in the integrity of government actions.


On 19 November 1994, Albert Reynolds resigned as party leader, and the Minister for Finance Bertie Ahern was unanimously elected the sixth leader of Fianna Fail.


Albert Reynolds's favoured successor, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, withdrew from the leadership contest on the morning of the vote.


At the beginning of 1997, Bertie Ahern allegedly encouraged Albert Reynolds to run for office in the coming election and offered him the position of "peace envoy" to Northern Ireland and his support as a candidate for the presidency.


Albert Reynolds was still interested in being a candidate for the presidency, along with two other Fianna Fail candidates, Michael O'Kennedy and Mary McAleese.


Albert Reynolds won the first round of voting with a comfortable margin.


Albert Reynolds retired from politics at the 2002 general election, after 25 years as a TD; he was quoted in 2007 to state: "I don't bear any grudges over Ahern".


Albert Reynolds was involved in a long-running libel action against British newspaper The Sunday Times over an article published in 1994, which alleged that Albert Reynolds had deliberately and dishonestly misled the Dail regarding matters in connection with the Brendan Smyth affair that brought down the coalition government.


Musharraf asked Albert Reynolds to act as an advisor to him and to contact US president Bill Clinton to reassure the White House as to the intentions of the new government of Pakistan.


Albert Reynolds claimed in later interviews that because of the trust built with Musharraf, he would be asked to arrange peace talks between India and Pakistan.


Albert Reynolds called Reynolds, who called former president Clinton, who quickly reached his successor George W Bush to communicate the Pakistani position.


In July 2008, it was reported that Albert Reynolds was medically unfit to give evidence at the Mahon Tribunal because of "significant cognitive impairment".


Albert Reynolds had on several previous occasions been due to give evidence concerning payments he allegedly received when he was Taoiseach.


In December 2013, it was revealed by his son that Albert Reynolds was in the last stages of Alzheimer's disease.


Albert Reynolds was buried at Shanganagh Cemetery with full military honours.


Albert Reynolds was not afraid to take political risks to further the path of reconciliation.


Albert Reynolds managed to blow up two coalitions in a relatively short period of time.