Séamus Pattison

Séamus Pattison (19 April 1936 – 4 February 2018) was an Irish Labour Party politician who served as Leas-Cheann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann from 2002 to 2007, Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann from 1997 to 2002, Minister of State for Social Welfare from 1983 to 1987 and Father of the Dáil from 1995 to 2007. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Carlow–Kilkenny constituency from 1961 to 2007. He was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Leinster constituency from 1981 to 1983.

Séamus Pattison
Leas-Cheann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann
In office
8 June 2002  14 June 2007
Ceann ComhairleRory O'Hanlon
Preceded byRory O'Hanlon
Succeeded byBrendan Howlin
Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann
In office
26 June 1997  6 June 2002
DeputyRory O'Hanlon
Preceded bySeán Treacy
Succeeded byRory O'Hanlon
Minister of State for Social Welfare
In office
15 December 1983  20 January 1987
TaoiseachGarret FitzGerald
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Father of the Dáil
In office
8 November 1995  14 June 2007
Preceded byNeil Blaney
Succeeded byEnda Kenny
Teachta Dála
In office
October 1961  June 2007
Member of the European Parliament
In office
1 July 1981  17 December 1983
Personal details
Born(1936-04-19)19 April 1936
Kilkenny, Ireland
Died4 February 2018(2018-02-04) (aged 81)
Kilkenny, Ireland
Political partyLabour Party
RelationsJames Pattison (Father)
Alma materUniversity College Cork

Early life and education

Séamus Pattison was born in Kilkenny in 1936.[1] His father was Labour Party TD James Pattison, who represented Carlow–Kilkenny from 1933 to 1957.[1] After his education at University College Cork, Pattison became a full-time trade union official, serving with the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union (ITGWU).[2]


Pattison unsuccessfully contested the Carlow–Kilkenny by-election for Labour in June 1960, but was elected at the 1961 general election to the 17th Dáil, and held the seat at eleven further general elections.[3]

He served as Mayor of Kilkenny on three occasions; 1967, 1976 and 1992.[4] He became an MEP for Leinster in 1981, to replace Liam Kavanagh who became Minister for Labour following the 1981 general election.[1] Pattison resigned as an MEP in 1983, following his appointment as Minister of State at the Department of Social Welfare, in which position he served until the Fine Gael–Labour government fell in 1987.[5]

He was unanimously elected Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann on 26 June 1997, serving for the entire 28th Dáil.[6] When the 29th Dáil assembled after the 2002 general election he was replaced by Rory O'Hanlon, but was appointed as Leas-Cheann Comhairle (Deputy Chairman) for the 29th Dáil.[3]

Pattison was also a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.[2]

In September 2005, he announced he would retire at the following general election, and his nephew Eoin Pattison unsuccessfully sought the nomination.[7] Labour county councillor Michael O'Brien was selected in February 2006 to contest the seat, but was unsuccessful when polling took place in May 2007.[1]

Later life and death

When Pattison retired from politics at the 2007 election he had served in Dáil Éireann for 45 years and 7 months, making him the fifth-longest serving TD ever, and the longest-ever-serving Labour Party TD.[5] He was the longest-serving sitting TD from 1995 to 2007, and had the informal title of Father of the Dáil.[6]

Pattison died from Parkinson's disease at his home in Kilkenny on 4 February 2018, aged 81.[6]

See also


  1. "Séamus Pattison". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
  2. "President leads tributes to former Ceann Comhairle Pattison". RTE. 4 February 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  3. "Séamus Pattison". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
  4. "The Sovereigns and Mayors of Kilkenny 1282–2003". Kilkenny Borough Council. Retrieved 8 January 2008.
  5. "Former Ceann Comhairle Seamus Pattison Dies at 81". The Irish Times. 4 February 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  6. "Tributes Paid on the Passing of Seamus Pattison". Irish Examiner. 4 February 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  7. "Seamus Pattison robbed over 20,000 by his career". Kilkenny People. 8 August 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2018.