Ray Burke

From Academic Kids

Ray Burke (born September 30, 1943) is a former Fianna Fáil politician.

Burke was born in Dublin, Ireland. He was educated at O'Connell Schools and became an auctioneer. He was elected to Dáil Éireann in 1973, following in the footsteps of his father P. J. Burke. He held his seat until his resignation almost twenty-five years later.

In 1977 Burke was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Industry and Commerce. He supported George Colley in the Fianna Fáil leadership contest of 1979 but was still retained in his government position by the new Taoiseach, Charles Haughey. In October 1980 he was appointed Minister for the Environment, a position he held until June 1981, and again in the short-lived government of 1982. Between 1987 and 1989 he served as Minister for Energy. After this he was appointed Minister for Industry and Commerce and Communications.

Following the formation of the Progressive Democrats-Fianna Fáil Coalition in 1989 he became Minister for Justice and Minister for Communications, this rather unusual combination of portfolios would later cause questions of improper payments from the now defunct Century Radio. When Albert Reynolds came to power in 1992 Burke was sacked from the Cabinet. In 1997 Fianna Fáil was back in power and Burke was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs by new Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Within months allegations that he had received £80,000 from a property developer regarding the former Dublin County Council resurfaced. Burke denied the allegations but resigned from the Cabinet and from the Dáil after just four months in office. This allegation lead to the setting up of the Planning Tribunal chaired by Mr Justice Feargus Flood. In an interim report of the subsequent Flood Tribunal he was unambiguously judged by Flood to be "corrupt".

In July 2004, he pleaded guilty to making false tax returns. After a period on bail, on 24th January 2005 he was sentenced to 6 months in jail for these offences, making him one of the most senior politicians in the history of Ireland to serve time in jail, he was release on June 06 after four and a half months, a 25% remission because of good behaviour. He was prisioner number 33791 and spent his time in Arbour Hill Prison in Dublin.

Preceded by:
Sylvester Barret
Minister for the Environment
Succeeded by:
Peter Barry
Preceded by:
Peter Barry
Minister for the Environment
Succeeded by:
Dick Spring
Preceded by:
John P. Wilson
Minister for Communications
Succeeded by:
Séamus Brennan
Preceded by:
Michael Noonan
Minister for Energy
Succeeded by:
Michael Smith
Preceded by:
Albert Reynolds
Minister for Industry & Commerce
Succeeded by:
Desmond O'Malley
Preceded by:
Gerard Collins
Minister for Justice
Succeeded by:
Pádraig Flynn
Preceded by:
Dick Spring
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by:
David Andrews

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