Mervyn Taylor (born 28 December 1931) is a former Irish Labour Party politician who served as Minister for Equality and Law Reform from 1993 to 1994 and from 1994 to 1997 and Minister for Labour in January 1993. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin South-West constituency from 1981 to 1997.
|Minister for Equality and Law Reform|
15 December 1994 – 26 June 1997
|Preceded by||Máire Geoghegan-Quinn|
|Succeeded by||Office abolished|
21 January 1993 – 17 November 1994
|Preceded by||New office|
|Succeeded by||Máire Geoghegan-Quinn|
|Minister for Labour|
12 January 1993 – 21 January 1993
|Preceded by||Brian Cowen|
|Succeeded by||Office abolished|
June 1981 – June 1997
|Born||28 December 1931|
|Political party||Labour Party|
|Spouse(s)||Marilyn Taylor (m. 1962)|
|Alma mater||Trinity College Dublin|
He worked for Herman Good Solicitors, alongside Herman Good and future district judge Hubert Wine. Good's involvement in the Labour Party was instrumental in Taylor getting involved in politics. Taylor later established his own firm of Taylor and Buchalter Solicitors with the late Don Buchalter, and practised as a solicitor for over 50 years before retiring from active practice in his 70s. He continued as a consultant to the firm of Taylor and Buchalter Solicitors for most of his 70s.
Taylor was elected to Dublin County Council in the 1970s, and to Dáil Éireann as a Labour Party Teachta Dála (TD) for Dublin South-West at the 1981 general election, on his third attempt. He then held the seat at every election until his retirement from politics in 1997.
He was Chairman of the Labour Party from 1987 to 1991, and Labour chief whip, from 1981 to 1988. He was assistant government chief whip from 1981 to 1982, and again from 1982 to 1987. In 1993 he was appointed as Minister for Labour for a brief period, and then served as Minister for Equality and Law Reform during the two governments of 1993–94 and 1994–97.
In 1995 Taylor was in charge of the government proposal to legislate to remove the prohibition of divorce from the constitution; he steered the relevant bills through Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann, and won the subsequent referendum by the narrow margin of 0.5 per cent. In the course of the campaign he survived criticism of the measure directed at his Jewish faith, as well as a Supreme Court ruling that public monies could not properly be spent in promoting the government's opinion on a referendum proposal.
His other major project was the introduction of two wide-ranging anti-discrimination measures, the Employment Equality Bill and the Equal Status Bill. These were struck down by the Supreme Court but revised versions were approved by the Government in the final months of Taylor's term of office, and were ultimately published and enacted during the following Dáil term.
Legislation introduced by Taylor and enacted during his term of office included; the Interpretation (Amendment) Act 1993 - providing for gender inclusive language in Acts of the Oireachtas, and the Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution Act 1995, which provided for divorce in the Constitution.
Taylor is married to Marilyn Taylor, who is the author of numerous books for young people. They have two sons, a daughter, and eight grandchildren.
- "Mervyn Taylor". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- Jews in Twentieth-Century Ireland: Refugees, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust by Dermot Keogh. Cork University Press, 1998. ISBN 1-85918-149-X.
- "Mervyn Taylor". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
| Minister for Labour
Department subsumed into Department of Enterprise and Employment
|New office|| Minister for Equality and Law Reform
| Minister for Equality and Law Reform
Department merged with Department of Justice
|Party political offices|
Michael D. Higgins
| Chairperson of the Labour Party