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Irish presidential election, 1974

Irish presidential election, 1974

← 1973 17 November 1974
1976 →

Nominee Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh
Party Fianna Fáil
Popular vote N/A
Percentage N/A

President before election

Erskine H. Childers
Fianna Fáil

Elected President

Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh

The Irish presidential election of 1974 resulted from the sudden death in office of President Erskine H. Childers.


Initially all parties secretly agreed to nominate the late president's widow, Rita Childers.[1] Before she was informed of the plan, however, a mix-up led to the collapse of the arrangement.[2]

A partially deaf Fine Gael Teachta Dála, identified in some reports as Tom O'Donnell,[3] confirmed the secret arrangement upon mishearing a journalist's question asking about the decision of a local council's nomination of Childers as President, having assumed that the cross-party decision was made public.[2]

Fianna Fáil leader Jack Lynch, thinking the party was set up, subsequently withdrew from the agreement and nominated Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh instead.[2] The parties agreed to the new arrangement due to a number of external factors, including a sluggish economy and The Troubles.[2]

All parties agreed to Ó Dálaigh's nomination. With no other candidates nominated, Ó Dálaigh was declared elected without a poll as the fifth president of Ireland.[4]


Irish presidential election, 1974[4]
Party Candidate 1st Pref % Seat Count
Independent Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh Unopposed

See also


  1. ^ Regan, Mary (10 May 2010). "Rita Childers dies peacefully aged 95". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 17 May 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c d "The best President we never had". Irish Independent. 15 May 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2018. 
  3. ^ "Presidential campaigns are not getting dirtier - they are just more public". Tuam Herald. 26 October 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2018. 
  4. ^ a b "Presidential Election 17 November 1974". Retrieved 4 December 2009.