Oscar Traynor

Oscar Traynor (21 March 1886 – 15 December 1963) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician and republican who served as Minister for Justice from 1957 to 1961, Minister for Defence from 1939 to 1948 and 1951 to 1954, Minister for Posts and Telegraphs from 1936 to 1939 and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence from June 1936 to November 1936. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1925 to 1927 and 1932 to 1961.[1]

Oscar Traynor
Oscar Traynor (under the X) (7541615018).jpg
Traynor in July 1922
Minister for Justice
In office
20 March 1957 – 11 October 1961
TaoiseachÉamon de Valera
Seán Lemass
Preceded byJames Everett
Succeeded byCharles Haughey
Minister for Defence
In office
13 June 1951 – 2 June 1954
TaoiseachÉamon de Valera
Preceded bySeán Mac Eoin
Succeeded bySeán Mac Eoin
In office
8 September 1939 – 18 February 1948
TaoiseachÉamon de Valera
Preceded byFrank Aiken
Succeeded byThomas F. O'Higgins
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs
In office
11 November 1936 – 8 September 1939
TaoiseachÉamon de Valera
Preceded byGerald Boland
Succeeded byThomas Derrig
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence
In office
3 June 1936 – 11 November 1936
TaoiseachÉamon de Valera
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded bySeán O'Grady
Teachta Dála
In office
February 1932 – October 1961
ConstituencyDublin North-East
In office
March 1925 – September 1927
ConstituencyDublin North
Personal details
Born(1886-03-21)21 March 1886
Dublin, Ireland
Died15 December 1963(1963-12-15) (aged 77)
Dublin, Ireland
NationalityIrish
Political partyFianna Fáil
Military service
AllegianceIrish Republican Brotherhood
Irish Volunteers
Irish Republican Army
Years of service1913–1922
Battles/warsEaster Rising
Irish War of Independence
Irish Civil War

LifeEdit

Oscar Traynor was born into a strongly nationalist family in Dublin. He was educated by the Christian Brothers. In 1899, he was apprenticed to John Long, a famous wood-carver. As a young man he was a noted footballer and toured Europe as a goalkeeper with Belfast Celtic F.C. whom he played with from 1910 to 1912. Traynor rejected claims soccer was a foreign sport calling it "a Celtic game, pure and simple, having its roots in the Highlands of Scotland."[2]

Traynor joined the Irish Volunteers and took part in the Easter Rising in 1916 being the leader of the Metropole Hotel garrison.[2] Following this he was interned in Wales. During the Irish War of Independence, he was brigadier of the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Republican Army and led the disastrous attack on The Custom House in 1921 and an ambush on the West Kent Regiment at Claude Road, Drumcondra on 16 June 1921 when the Thompson submachine gun was fired for the first time in action.

When the Irish Civil War broke out in June 1922, Traynor took the Anti-Treaty IRA side. The Dublin Brigade was split, however, with many of its members following Michael Collins in taking the pro-Treaty side. During the Battle of Dublin he was in charge of the Barry's Hotel garrison,[2] before making their escape. He organised guerilla activity in south Dublin and County Wicklow, before being captured by Free State troops in September. He was then imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

On 11 March 1925, he was elected to Dáil Éireann in a by-election as a Sinn Féin TD for the Dublin North constituency, though he did not take his seat due to the abstentionist policy of Sinn Féin.[3] He was re-elected as one of eight members for Dublin North in the June 1927 general election but just one of six Sinn Féin TDs.[4] Once again, he did not take his seat. Traynor did not contest the second general election called that year but declared his support for Fianna Fáil.[5] He stood again in the 1932 general election and was elected as a Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin North.

In 1936, he was first appointed to the Cabinet as Minister for Posts and Telegraphs. In September 1939, Traynor was appointed Minister for Defence and held the portfolio to February 1948. In 1948, he became President of the Football Association of Ireland, a position he held until his death. He served as Minister for Defence in several Fianna Fáil governments and as Minister for Justice, where he was undermined by his junior minister, and later Taoiseach, Charles Haughey, before he retired in 1961.

Oscar Traynor died on 15 December 1963, in Dublin at the age of 77.[6]

He has a road named in his memory, running from the Malahide Road through Coolock to Santry in Dublin's northern suburbs.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Oscar Traynor". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b c https://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/oscar-traynor-crime-playing-soccer/
  3. ^ "Oscar Traynor". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  4. ^ The Times, Free State Election, 13 June 1927
  5. ^ The Times, Irish Election. A Heavy Poll 16 September 1927
  6. ^ Irish Times. 16 December 1963.
Political offices
New office Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence
1936
Succeeded by
Seán O'Grady
Preceded by
Gerald Boland
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs
1936–1939
Succeeded by
Thomas Derrig
Preceded by
Frank Aiken
Minister for Defence
1939–1948
Succeeded by
Thomas F. O'Higgins
Preceded by
Seán Mac Eoin
Minister for Defence
1951–1954
Succeeded by
Seán Mac Eoin
Preceded by
James Everett
Minister for Justice
1957–1961
Succeeded by
Charles Haughey