Bruton, John (Ireland)

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John Bruton was Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) from Dec. 1994–June 1997, heading a coalition government which included his Fine Gael party. He played a leading role in the Northern Irish Peace Process, arguing that a united Ireland would occur only if it received majority support in the North. His firm stance against the IRA and other paramilitary groups brought him into conflict with nationalists.

Early Life

John Gereard Bruton was born in Dublin on 18 May 1947. He studied economics at University College, Dublin before qualifying as a barrister from Kings Inn, Dublin at the age of 23. In 1969 he entered the Dáil as a member of Fine Gael. He worked in farming throughout his political career. During the 1970s he was the parliamentary secretary for the minister of education and later of industry and commerce.

In 1981, in Garret FitzGerald’s coalition government, Bruton was appointed minister of finance, a post he held from mid-1981 to early 1982. He was minister at the...

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