Terry Leyden

Terry Leyden (born 1 October 1945) is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who has served as a Senator (elected by the Labour Panel) since September 2002, and previously during December 1992 (upon being nominated by the Taoiseach). He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1977 to 1992.[1]

Terry Leyden
Assumed office
12 September 2002
ConstituencyLabour Panel
In office
2 December 1992  17 December 1992
ConstituencyNominated by the Taoiseach
Teachta Dála
In office
June 1981  November 1992
In office
June 1977  June 1981
Personal details
Born (1945-10-01) 1 October 1945
Roscommon, County Roscommon, Ireland
Political partyFianna Fáil
Spouse(s)Mary O'Connor (m. 1975)
Alma materUniversity College Galway

He was elected to Roscommon County Council in 1974, and re-elected in 1979 and 1985. Leyden was elected to Dáil Éireann at his first attempt, in the 1977 general election, when he was returned to the 21st Dáil as a TD for the Roscommon–Leitrim constituency. He was returned for the new Roscommon constituency at the 1981 general election, and re-elected a further four times before losing his seat at the 1992 general election in the new Longford–Roscommon constituency.

From March to December 1982, he served as Minister of State at the Department of Transport and Minister of State at the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. He then served as Minister of State at the Department of Health from 1987 to 1989, and as Minister of State at the Department of Industry and Commerce from 1989 to 1992.

Following his Dáil defeat he sat very briefly in the 19th Seanad, having been nominated by the Taoiseach Albert Reynolds on 2 December 1992. After the 19th Seanad last sat on 17 December 1992 he stood unsuccessfully in the 1993 election to Seanad Éireann by the Administrative Panel, and was unsuccessful again in 1997 when seeking election by the Industrial and Commercial Panel.

Leyden was re-elected to Roscommon County Council in 1999, a position that he held until the ending of the dual mandate in 2003 – because by that time he was also a Senator – when his seat was taken by his daughter Orla Leyden.[2] Leyden was also a member of the Western Health Board from 1992 to 2002, and was Chairman from 2001 to 2002.

He was elected to the 22nd Seanad by the Labour Panel in September 2002 and re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2016. He is the Fianna Fáil Seanad spokesperson on Children and European Affairs.

In May 2010, he invoked Parliamentary privilege and accused The Irish Times columnist Fintan O'Toole of incitement to riot, which O'Toole denied. This came about as a result of the latter's addressing of a demonstration against the bank bailouts proposed by the Government, which later turned violent.[3]

In July 2013, he claimed that Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini were "good Christians" while speaking in the Seanad.[4][5] On realising the absurd nature of his comments, he apologised to the chair and admitted he was distracted.[4]

He is a member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland by virtue of inclusion on the "Minister's List".[6] Prior to his inclusion on the RIAI register he was a member of the Irish Architects Society, the majority of whose members did not have formal qualifications for entry on the architect's register.[1]

He is the Fianna Fáil Seanad spokesperson on Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources.


  1. "Terry Leyden". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  2. "Terry Leyden". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  3. "Liveline broadcast of incitement controversy". RTÉ News. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
  4. "Senator describes Hitler and Mussolini as 'good Christians'". TheJournal.ie. 11 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  5. ""Mussolini Or Hitler, Both Were Good Christians"". broadsheet.ie. 11 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  6. "Competition in Professional Resources: Architects" (PDF). Retrieved 31 March 2014.
Preceded by
Patrick J. Reynolds
(Fine Gael)
Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for Roscommon–Leitrim
Constituency abolished
New constituency Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála for Roscommon
Constituency abolished
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