(1891–1970), politician. A participant in the rising of 1916, Ryan was Sinn Féin MP for Wexford in 1918 and an IRA commander in Wexford during the Anglo-Irish War. As minister for agriculture 1932–47 he was responsible for implementing Fianna Fáil's policy of promoting smallscale, tillage farming. As minister for health (1951–4) he put through a compromise Health Act (1953) which resolved the issues raised in the Mother and Child controversy. He clashed with Lemass in 1945 on the question of state support for small, uncommercial farms, but the two were generally allies, and Ryan was minister for finance (1957–65) in the period of the First Programme for Economic Expansion (see economic development).
From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: European History.