John Patrick Wilson (8 July 1923 – 9 July 2007) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who served as Tánaiste from 1990 to 1993, Minister for Defence and Minister for the Gaeltacht from 1992 to 1993, Minister for the Marine from 1989 to 1992, Minister for Tourism and Transport from 1987 to 1989, Minister for Communications in March 1987, Minister for Posts and Telegraphs from March 1982 to December 1982 and Minister for Education from 1977 to 1981. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1973 to 1992.
13 November 1990 – 12 January 1993
|Preceded by||Brian Lenihan|
|Succeeded by||Dick Spring|
|Minister for Defence|
11 February 1992 – 12 January 1993
|Preceded by||Vincent Brady|
|Succeeded by||David Andrews|
|Minister for the Gaeltacht|
11 February 1992 – 12 January 1993
|Preceded by||Charles Haughey|
|Succeeded by||Michael D. Higgins|
|Minister for the Marine|
12 July 1989 – 11 February 1992
|Preceded by||Brendan Daly|
|Succeeded by||Michael Woods|
|Minister for Tourism and Transport|
31 March 1987 – 12 July 1989
|Preceded by||Ray MacSharry|
|Succeeded by||Séamus Brennan|
|Minister for Communications|
10 March 1987 – 31 March 1987
|Preceded by||Jim Mitchell|
|Succeeded by||Ray Burke|
|Minister for Posts and Telegraphs|
9 March 1982 – 14 December 1982
|Preceded by||Patrick Cooney|
|Succeeded by||Jim Mitchell|
|Minister for Education|
5 July 1977 – 30 June 1981
|Preceded by||Peter Barry|
|Succeeded by||John Boland|
February 1973 – November 1992
|Born||8 July 1923|
Kilcogy, County Cavan, Ireland
|Died||9 July 2007 (aged 84)|
Beaumont, Dublin, Ireland
|Political party||Fianna Fáil|
|Relations||Diarmuid Wilson (Nephew)|
|Education||St. Mel's College|
Early life and Gaelic footballEdit
Wilson was born in Mullahoran, County Cavan, in 1923. He was educated at St. Mel's College in Longford, the University of London and the National University of Ireland. He graduated with a Master of Arts in Classics and a Higher Diploma in Education. He was a secondary school teacher at St Eunan's College in Letterkenny and Gonzaga College and also a university lecturer at University College, Dublin (UCD), before he became involved in politics. Wilson was also a Gaelic footballer for the Cavan county team, with which he won two All-Ireland medals; one in 1947 in the Polo Grounds, New York. He was a member of the teachers trade union, the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI), and served as president of the association. While at St Eunan's College in Letterkenny (at which time he lived at 2 College Row, close to the school gates, and taught within them between 1952 and 1960), Wilson was known as "Big Johnny", training the team that would reach the final of the 1961 MacRory Cup (though he departed for a teaching post at Gonzaga College midway through the year).
Wilson was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1973 general election for the Cavan constituency, for Cavan–Monaghan in 1977 and at each subsequent election until his retirement after the dissolution of the 26th Dail in 1992. He was succeeded as Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan by his special advisor, Brendan Smith, who went on to serve as Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food from 2008 to 2011. In 1977, Taoiseach Jack Lynch appointed Wilson to the cabinet as Minister for Education. He went on to serve in each Fianna Fáil government until his retirement, serving in the governments of Jack Lynch, Charles Haughey and Albert Reynolds.
In 1990, Wilson challenged Brian Lenihan for the Fianna Fáil nomination for the 1990 presidential election. Lenihan won the nomination but failed to be elected President and was also sacked from the government. Wilson was then appointed Tánaiste. He remained in the cabinet until retirement in 1993. Although the 26th Dail was dissolved in December 1992, Wilson served in Government until the new government took office.
Following his retirement from politics, Wilson was appointed the Commissioner of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. This position entailed involvement with members of the Provisional IRA to assist in finding the bodies of the disappeared who were murdered by the Provisional IRA during The Troubles.
- "John P. Wilson". Oireachtas Members Database. Archived from the original on 16 July 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "Former tánaiste John Wilson dies". The Irish Times. 7 July 2007. Archived from the original on 17 December 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2009.
- "Cavan legend John Wilson passes away". RTÉ News. 10 July 2007. Archived from the original on 17 December 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2009.
- "Former Tanaiste John Wilson dies". Longford Leader. 11 July 2007. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012.
- O'Sullivan, Jim (2006). "Michael Kerr — Remembered". St. Eunan's College: 1906 - 2006. Browne Printers Ltd. pp. 157–8.
- Strain, Hugh (24 October 2006). "Football in St. Eunan's in the 1950s". Archived from the original on 24 October 2006.
- St. Eunan's College: 1906 - 2006. Browne Printers Ltd. 2006. p. 198.
- "The Mac Rory Cup Campaign of 1960/61". Archived from the original on 24 October 2006.
- "John Wilson". ElectionsIreland.org. Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- Friends we lost: Mr. John Wilson – Article at Hogan Stand