John McQuillan (30 August 1920 – 8 March 1998) was an Irish politician, trade union official and army officer.
1948 photograph of McQuillan, taken outside Leinster House
February 1948 – April 1965
|Roscommon County Councillor|
30 August 1920
Ballyforan, County Roscommon, Ireland
|Died||8 March 1998 (aged 77)|
Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland
|Political party||Clann na Poblachta (1945–51)|
National Progressive Democrats (1958–64)
Labour Party (1964–67)
Socialist Labour Party (1977–79)
He was born in Ballyforan, County Roscommon in 1920. His father worked as a part of Royal Irish Constabulary while his mother was a school teacher who came from a Republican family. He was a member of the Roscommon Gaelic football team that won the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in 1943 and 1944. He began a career as an officer in the Irish Army though resigned to work as a local government official.
He was elected to Dáil Éireann on his first attempt as a Clann na Poblachta Teachta Dála (TD) for the Roscommon constituency at the 1948 general election. After fellow Clann na Poblachta TD, Noël Browne resigned as Minister for Health, McQuillan resigned from Clann na Poblachta in support of Browne and sat as an independent TD. He was re-elected at the 1951, 1954 and 1957 general elections as an independent TD.
On 16 May 1958, the National Progressive Democrats party was founded with Noël Browne and McQuillan as the party's leaders. Between 1958 and 1961, 7 of the 9 motions discussed in Private Member's Time had been proposed by one of them. In 1961 and 1962 they asked 1,400 parliamentary questions, 17% of the total. The Taoiseach Seán Lemass paid them a unique compliment by referring to them as "the real opposition". Both were re-elected at the 1961 general election. In October 1963 both men joined the Labour Party. This new arrangement did not prove electorally beneficial to McQuillan as he lost his seat in Roscommon at the 1965 general election. However, he was elected to Seanad Éireann by the Administrative Panel. He resigned the Labour Party whip in 1967 and did not seek re-election at the 1969 general election, and retired from his Roscommon County Council seat in 1974.
When the Socialist Labour Party was founded in 1977, McQuillan joined as a trustee of the new party but later resigned. Remaining close to Noël Browne he lobbied hard for him to get the Labour Party nomination to contest the 1990 presidential election for the Labour Party. However, Mary Robinson was the preferred candidate of Dick Spring.
- Coyne, D. (2008). "Jack McQuillan 1920 – 1998". South Roscommon.ie. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy". Houses of the Oireachtas. 12 March 1998. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "John McQuillan". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
- "Jack McQuillan". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
- Kevin Rafter (1996), The Clann: The Story of Clann na Poblachta
- John Horgan (2000), Noel Browne: Passionate Outsider
- Noel Browne (1986), Against the Tide (Gill & Macmillan)
- Coyne, Declan (8 February 2007). "The Roscommon Rebel, The Story of Jack McQuillan". Dhá Lon Productions. Archived from the original on 31 December 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2012. Cite journal requires
|journal=(help) A radio documentary, 3×45min CDs first broadcast on RosFM.
- "Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy". Seanad Éireann. 154. 12 March 1998.