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Maureen Haughey (née Lemass; 3 September 1925 – 17 March 2017) was the wife of Charles Haughey, who served as Taoiseach of Ireland on three separate occasions between 1979 and 1992.

Maureen Haughey
Maureen Lemass

(1925-09-03)3 September 1925
Dublin, Ireland
Died17 March 2017(2017-03-17) (aged 91)
Dublin, Ireland
Alma materUniversity College Dublin
Spouse(s)Charles Haughey (m. 1951–2006, his death)
ChildrenEimear, Conor, Ciarán, Seán
Parent(s)Seán Lemass, Kathleen Hughes


She was born in Dublin, the eldest daughter of Seán Lemass, the recently elected TD for Dublin South and future Taoiseach, and Kathleen Hughes.[1] After completing her secondary education she was struck down with tuberculosis in 1943. After spending a year recovering in hospital, she later studied at University College Dublin (UCD) where she received a degree in commerce.

During her studies at UCD, she was introduced to Charles Haughey. They married on 18 September 1951. They had four children: Eimear, Conor, Ciarán and Seán.

Her husband was elected as a TD for Dublin North-East in 1957 before later serving in a range of ministerial positions including Justice, Agriculture, Finance and Health and Social Welfare. He was elected leader of Fianna Fáil and Taoiseach in 1979. During her time as wife to the Taoiseach she kept a low profile and had enjoyed a background role in her husbands' political career.

Maureen Haughey's brother Noel Lemass also served as a Fianna Fáil TD, while her sister-in-law, Eileen Lemass, also served as a member of Dáil Éireann. Her youngest son, Seán Haughey, has served as Lord Mayor of Dublin and was a TD and has previously been a Minister of State.

After stepping down as Taoiseach in 1992, Charles Haughey's retirement was dogged with controversy, with the Moriarty Tribunal investigating a series of payments that he received from senior businessmen over an 18-year period. At one stage, he faced criminal charges for obstructing the work of the tribunal. He was also found to have spent large sums of Fianna Fáil money on Charvet shirts and dinners at the exclusive Le Coq Hardi restaurant in Dublin. In May 1999 gossip columnist Terry Keane revealed on The Late Late Show that Charles Haughey had conducted a 27-year relationship with her.[2][3]

Haughey was widowed on 13 June 2006 when her husband died of prostate cancer. They had been married for 55 years. In 2008 she left Abbeville, her home of 39 years.[4] She died on 17 March 2017, aged 91.[5][6]


  • Horgan, John, Seán Lemass - the Enigmatic Patriot. (Gill and Macmillan, Dublin, 1997).


  1. ^ Hade, Emma Jane (21 March 2015). "'My father never talked about 1916' - Maureen Haughey". Irish Independent. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Charlie...from a Northsider to a Fingallian in one fell swoop". Fingal Independent. 14 June 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  3. ^ Lavery, Don (20 May 2012). "Terry Keane interview left a chill at Abbeville". Irish Independent. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  4. ^ Walsh, Anne-Marie (27 May 2008). "My sad farewell to beloved Abbeville". Irish Independent. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Wonderfully warm and intelligent woman" Maureen Haughey passes away, Irish Independent.
  6. ^ Kathy Armstrong (2017-03-17). "Former Taoiseach Charles Haughey's wife Maureen has passed away aged 91: 'A truly remarkable woman' - Irish Mirror Online". Retrieved 2017-03-17.