Sunday 16 June 2019

Where are they now: David Andrews

David Andrews
David Andrews

Shane Ross

DAVID Andrews retired from active politics at the 2002 Dail election. He bequeathed his Dun Laoghaire seat -- as few Irish political dynasties can any longer do -- to his son, Barry. Today Barry sits at the Cabinet table, where his father sat for seven years.

Soon after resigning as Minister for Foreign Affairs in mid-term to make room for a younger person -- an almost uniquely generous gesture for an Irish politician -- Andrews set about writing his autobiography, Kingstown Republican. The book tells how a follower of Taoiseach Jack Lynch and implacable opponent of Charles J Haughey survived in the political wilderness during the Haughey years.

Backbencher Andrews used his political exile to build up his practice at the Bar. During that period, he honourably resisted the temptation to bolt from the Haughey-dominated party and join the Progressive Democrats, led by his old friend Des O'Malley.

His Fianna Fail pedigree had proved too strong: his father Todd had been one of the party founders, while his brother, the late Niall, was a Fianna Fail MEP.

Andrews' party loyalty paid off when Albert Reynolds became Taoiseach and appointed him minister for Foreign Affairs, a post this most civilised of Fianna Failer had always coveted and later performed with distinction. His role in the Good Friday Agreement was his proudest hour.

Andrews' successful stint at Iveagh House ensured that he would never be allowed to retire gracefully to enjoy the pleasures of his beloved Connemara with his wife Annette, a pianist of recognised talent.

He was persuaded to accept the chair of Ireland's Red Cross and was a "natural" for membership of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal.

As a former soccer star and rugby interprovincial he has served in key roles promoting both sports. He remains an outside bet for Aras an Uachtarain in 2011.

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