Brendan Corish


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(1918–90), Labour Party leader and government minister. Corish was elected TD for Wexford in 1945, and served in the first interparty government (1948–51) as parliamentary secretary to the minister for Local Government and Defence. In 1954, when the coalition returned to office, he was promoted to be minister for social welfare. He was elected to the leadership of the Labour Party in 1960, but had to wait until 1973 before returning to office. With the formation of the National Coalition (between Fine Gael and Labour) in that year, Corish became tánaiste and Minister for Health and Social Welfare. On 1 July 1977, following the defeat of the coalition at a general election, and the loss of two Labour seats, Corish resigned from the party leadership. A moderate and sympathetic leader, Corish presided over a left-ward realignment of Labour in the 1960s, and increasing tensions between Dublin radicals and the party's rural base. Despite the electoral setback in 1977, the Corish years were also marked by a strengthening of Labour's popular support.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.

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