AN AWARD has been launched as part of aninitiative to honour the memory and legacy of one of Ireland’s most popular politicians – former Taoiseach, the late Jack Lynch.
The newly-formed Jack Lynch Commemoration Committee will present its first award next January to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the people of Lynch’s native Cork.
The Jack Lynch Perpetual Shield will be presented to the winner as part of what the committee hopes will be an annual event.
They hope to invite three speakers to January’s ceremony to discuss Lynch from a historical, political and personal perspective.
“It is now time for Fianna Fáil members and the people of Cork to pay a fitting tribute annually to the memory of Jack Lynch, one of Cork’s favourite sons,” said Úna Lordan, vice-chair of the committee.
Jack Lynch was born in the shadow of St Anne’s Church in Shandon in 1917.
He was first elected to the Dáil in 1948, and was re-elected at each general election until his retirement in 1981.
He served as Minister for Finance, Minister for Industry and Commerce, Minister for Education and Minister for the Gaeltacht.
He served two terms as Taoiseach – from 1966 to 1973, and from 1977 to 1979 when be became the last Fianna Fáil leader to secure an overall majority in the Dáil, and was affectionately title known as the ‘Real Taoiseach’.
He resigned as party leader on December 5, 1979, and was succeeded by Charles Haughey.
He retired from politics in 1981.
He was also a legendary sportsman, playing hurling with Glen Rovers and the Cork senior hurling team from 1936 until 1950, and football with St Nicholas’ and the Cork senior footballers from 1936 to 1946.
Over the course of his 14-year hurling career, he won five All-Ireland titles, and seven Munster titles.
The Jack Lynch Tunnel under the river Lee was named after him in 1999.
He died on October 20, 1999, aged 82, and received a state funeral.
Now, the Cork North Central and Cork South Central Fianna Fáil organisations have come together to honour his legacy.
Its members have invited nominees for the Jack Lynch Perpetual Shield which a spokesperson said “will reflect the positive and fulfilling service of the eventual winner to the people of Cork and the county as a whole”.
* Nominees for the award can be sent to email@example.com.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved