Saturday 25 May 2019

Ex-Lord Mayor and TD Joe Doyle dies aged 73

Michael Brennan

A FORMER Fine Gael TD who once defied his party over its abortion referendum plans has died. Joe Doyle (73), who was also a former Lord Mayor of Dublin, died at Blackrock Hospice yesterday after a long illness.

Mr Doyle was first elected to Dublin City Council in 1979 and also served two Dail terms; from 1982 to 1987, and 1989 to 1992.

He attracted attention in 1983 when he became one of eight Fine Gael TDs to vote against Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald's wording for a pro-life amendment to the Irish constitution.

Because of the rebel Fine Gael TD's support, the alternative wording proposed by Fianna Fail to give "right to life to the unborn, with due regard to the equal right of the mother" was accepted in a Dail vote, and was passed by a slim majority in the 1983 referendum.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said Mr Doyle was an outstanding public representative for the people of Dublin South-East and an excellent parliamentarian. "Joe was a Christian in every sense of the word and I would like to extend my sincere condolences to his wife Peggy and all his family at this sad and difficult time for them," he said.

Mr Doyle grew up in Donnybrook, Dublin, and was educated by the Sisters of Charity in Milltown; and later by the Christian Brothers in Westland Row. He was the parish clerk at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Donnybrook, from 1954 until his election to the Dail in 1982.


Mr Doyle won back his seat in the Dublin South East constituency in 1989, courtesy of what was described as an "amazing vote management campaign" by his running mate, former Taoiseach FitzGerald.

However, in the 1992 general election, Fine Gael added a new candidate -- the current Senator Frances Fitzgerald -- to the ticket and she beat him to the seat. Mr Doyle was said to be been deeply hurt by the party's decision to bring her on board.

He later served two terms in the Seanad and was Dublin Lord Mayor from 1998 to 1999.

Mr Kenny added: "Joe had a deep sense of loyalty to those with whom he served as a public representative and was always fully in tune with the needs and concerns of his constituents."

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