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Seán Flanagan (26 January 1922 – 5 February 1993) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician and Gaelic footballer who served as Minister for Health from 1966 to 1969, Minister for Lands from 1969 to 1973, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Commerce from 1965 to 1966. He served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Connacht–Ulster from 1979 to 1989. He served as a Teachta Dála for the Mayo South constituency from 1951 to 1969, and for Mayo East from 1969 to 1977.[1]

Seán Flanagan
Seán Flanagan.jpg
Flanagan in 1967
Minister for Lands
In office
2 July 1969 – 14 March 1973
TaoiseachJack Lynch
Preceded byPádraig Faulkner
Succeeded byTom Fitzpatrick
Minister for Health
In office
13 July 1966 – 2 July 1969
TaoiseachJack Lynch
Preceded byDonogh O'Malley
Succeeded byPádraig Faulkner
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Commerce
In office
21 April 1965 – 13 July 1966
TaoiseachSeán Lemass
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Member of the European Parliament
In office
1 July 1979 – 24 May 1989
Teachta Dála
In office
May 1951 – June 1969
ConstituencyMayo South
In office
June 1969 – June 1977
ConstituencyMayo East
Personal details
Born(1922-01-26)26 January 1922
Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, Ireland
Died5 February 1993(1993-02-05) (aged 71)
Dublin, Ireland
Political partyFianna Fáil
Spouse(s)Mary Patricia Doherty (m. 1944; d. 1993)
EducationSt. Jarlath's College
Alma materUniversity College Dublin


Early life and educationEdit

Seán Flanagan was born in Coolnaha, Aghamore, Ballyhaunis, County Mayo in 1922. He was educated locally, then later at St. Jarlath's College in Tuam, County Galway, where he showed enthusiasm for sport. He won two Connacht championship medals with the college in 1939 and in 1940. He later studied at Clonliffe College in Dublin, and then enrolled in University College Dublin where he studied law and qualified as a solicitor.

Football careerEdit

Flanagan also played senior Gaelic football for Mayo. He captained the All-Ireland final-winning sides of 1950 and 1951, and won five Connacht senior championship medals in all. He also won two National Football League titles in 1949 and 1954. While still a footballer, Flanagan entered into a career in politics.

In recognition of his skills and long-running contribution to the sport, Flanagan was awarded the 1992 All-time all-star award as no GAA All Stars Awards were being issued at the time of his playing career. In 1984, the Gaelic Athletic Association centenary year he was honoured by being named on their Football Team of the Century. In 1999, he was again honoured by the GAA by being named on their Gaelic Football Team of the Millennium.

Political careerEdit

Flanagan came from a Fianna Fáil family, and was recruited into the party in east Mayo. He was elected a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) for Mayo South at the 1951 general election, and won a seat—first there, then from 1969 in Mayo East—at each subsequent election until he lost his seat at the 1977 general election.[2]

Flanagan rose rapidly through the party ranks, and was appointed a Parliamentary Secretary under Taoiseach Seán Lemass in 1959. In the Fianna Fáil leadership election in 1966 Flanagan supported Jack Lynch. When Lynch became Taoiseach, Flanagan was promoted to the Cabinet as Minister for Health. Three years later in 1969 he became Minister for Lands. Flanagan lost his seat at the 1977 general election, and effectively retired from domestic politics; however, he was elected to the European Parliament in the first direct elections in 1979. He was re-elected in 1984, and retired from politics in 1989.

Seán Flanagan died on 5 February 1993, at the age of 71.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Seán Flanagan". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Seán Flanagan". Retrieved 28 December 2011.

External linksEdit

Political offices
New office Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Commerce
Succeeded by
Office abolished
Preceded by
Donogh O'Malley
Minister for Health
Succeeded by
Joseph Brennan
Preceded by
Pádraig Faulkner
Minister for Lands
Succeeded by
Tom Fitzpatrick