Monday 14 October 2019

77-year Spring political dynasty at an end

Dynasty: Arthur J Spring at the 2011 General Election with his father Arthur (right) and uncle Dick Spring. Photo: Domnick Walsh
Dynasty: Arthur J Spring at the 2011 General Election with his father Arthur (right) and uncle Dick Spring. Photo: Domnick Walsh

Sinead Kelleher

For only the second time in 77 years, there will be no Spring name on the local election ballot paper in Kerry this May, with the announcement that councillor Graham Spring, the nephew of former Tánaiste and Labour Party leader Dick Spring, is calling time on his political career.

The news came as a shock to many, in a development that signals the withdrawal of the Spring name from politics.

Graham's grandfather, Dan Spring, was first elected to Kerry County Council in 1942 and to the Dáil in 1943.

Dick Spring was elected as a TD for Kerry North in 1981 and he held a seat for the constituency until 2002.

During this tenure, he served as Tánaiste and leader of the Labour Party from 1982 to 1997.

Dick's sister Maeve held a seat in Kerry County Council and Tralee Town Council from 1984 to 2004. The only time there was no Spring name at the council table was between 2004 and 2009.

Graham Spring: Nephew of former Tánaiste calls time on political career. Photo: Eye Focus
Graham Spring: Nephew of former Tánaiste calls time on political career. Photo: Eye Focus

Arthur Spring's first foray into politics saw him elected to Kerry County Council and Tralee Town Council in 2009. He won a seat in the 2011 General Election for the same constituency as his uncle.

Graham Spring was drawn into the family's political work to help his brother Arthur, working alongside him for a number of years before contesting the 2014 local elections and taking a seat.

Mayor of Tralee Graham had been added to the party ticket for the Tralee electoral area but withdrew his name.

"This wasn't a decision I took lightly but there is a conflict between a commitment to politics and establishing a career," he said.

Irish Independent

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