Your Taoisigh Rankings

RahenyFG

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Just wondering what ranking people who would the taoisigh we've had, including W.T Cosgrave.

Here's my ranking

1. Sean Lemass
2. W.T Cosgrave
3. Jack Lynch
4. Bertie Ahern
5. Eamon De Valera
6. John A Costello
7. Garret FitzGerald
8. John Bruton
9. Liam Cosgrave
10. Charles Haughey
11. Albert Reynolds
12. Brian Cowen
 
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jpc

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2and 4 were disasters. You are right with 1 ,3,5. 11 should be at 4
 

Noggin

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1. Sean Lemass
2. Charlie Haughey (87-91)
3. John Bruton
4. Eamon de Valera
5. Bertie Ahern
6. WT Cosgrave
7. Albert Reynolds
8. Garrett Fitzgerald
9. Liam Cosgrave
10. John A Costello (Unremarkable)
11. Jack Lynch
12. Brian Cowen
 

oggy

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1 Eamon De Valera
2 W T Cosgrave
3 Sean Lemass
4 Bertie Ahern
5 Brian Cowen
6 Charlie Haughey
7 Albert Reynolds
8 Garret Fitzgerald
9 John Costello
10 John Bruton

Dev and W T between them stabilised at the most difficult time
 

SideysGhost

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Aarrrrgh what a collection of idiots, crooks, traitors, lunatics and bumbling non-entities!

I could pick 12 random people off the street and they'd be of more use to the country than any of our inbred moronic political class.
 

Observer

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The good:

1. Lemass (arrived into office ten years too late but promoted a newer group of ministers who were allowed their head and, together with Whitaker, revolutionised the state's outlook and made efforts to lead us out of isolation)

The mixed:

2. de Valera (reconciled a large proportion of the population to the state through the 1937 constitution, stood up to efforts to overthrow democracy in the early 30s by people who should have known much better, made a genuine improvement to the lives of many of the less well-off through investment in housing and improvements in welfare and land reform - there's a reason why the working-classes and poorer farmers were traditionally loyal to FF - after neglect from a previous government, arguably buffered the state from the worst economically in the 30s through protectionism and import substitution, kept the state out of a war in which it would have been insufficiently defended and internally divided, but then failed to move with the times, retaining protectionism after it had outlived its usefulness and allowing the state to become insular and isolated. He may have been too close to clerical influence to our liking, but he was not exceptional for that period compared with those who preceded or succeeded him. Had he left office after 1945 or even after the 1948 electoral defeat, his reputation would be improved today.)
3. Cosgrave (Sr.) (set the institutions of the state - courts, Gardaí, democratic institutions - in place, made progress on economic development with the Shannon scheme, and allowed a transition to government by his civil war opponents, but also institutionalised much of the repressive clerical control - bans on contraception and divorce, censorship of books and films - that is nowadays lazily ascribed to de Valera and followed an excessively laissez-faire economic course that left the less well-off to rot)
4. Lynch (personally honest, managed things through the early 1970s, but no real vision and allowed a needless financial crisis in his last two years by politically unnecessary promises)
5. Haughey (intellectually brilliant but utterly self-serving and lacking any kind of conscience, disastrous in his first period in office but was fortunate in that his final period of government coincided with an economic upturn in the UK, but did put some of the foundations for later economic growth in place)
6. FitzGerald (well-intentioned and capable of being inspiring, did achieve the Anglo-Irish Agreement, but was ineffective as a leader during economic hard times and failed to achieve most of his plans for social change)
7= Bruton (led one of the best governments in recent times although it was a collective rather than individual achievement, and the judgement of anyone who allowed himself to be influenced by Eoghan Harris needs to be questioned)
7= Reynolds (put in the groundwork which was to lead to the GFA, ignoring much of "respectable" opinion in the process, and led a couple of economically sane governments under which the economy started to power ahead, but then allowed his pr1ckliness to provoke meaningless quarrels leading to their destruction. Both he and Bruton are marked down for only having short periods in office.)

More bad than good:

9. Ahern (only the genuine achievement of the GFA saves him from being the worst ever, a man who took a prospering economy and allowed it to be turned into a Ponzi scheme by a bunch of political and financial shysters)

The bad:

10. Costello (a non-entity, allowed excessive deference to the Catholic Church and medical profession to derail real healthcare reform in his first term, and achieved nothing at all in his second)
11. Cosgrave (Jr.) (ineffective during an economic crisis, sabotaged his own government on contraception, and allowed an authoritarian climate of censorship, police brutality and state bullying to take hold)
12. Cowen (was left holding the doomsday machine built under Ahern's watch when it exploded - having failed to make any real effort to defuse it during his time as Finance minister - and then made things even worse by following policies which have almost certainly destroyed the general welfare of the state for the next generation)
 
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Rocket Man

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Aarrrrgh what a collection of idiots, crooks, traitors, lunatics and bumbling non-entities!

I could pick 12 random people off the street and they'd be of more use to the country than any of our inbred moronic political class.
Yeah, looking at the list is actually quite depressing. We really have not been well served by our choices for Taiseach.
Lemass was very good and WT Cosgrave provided steady leadership when it was needed.
Garrett had the potential to be a very good Taoiseach but for a number of reasons failed to reach that potential.
As for the rest of them they vary from dull and uninspiring to crooked and incompetent.
 

LiberalFG

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1.WT
2. Lemass
3. Bruton
4. Reynolds
5. FitzGerald
6 CJH - He was good despite being a crook
7. Costello
8. Cosgrave
9. Lynch
10. Dev
11. Ahern
12. Cowen.
 

RightCentreLeft

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John Bruton without a doubt was the greatest Taoiseach since Lemass. He presided over the beginnings of real economic growth in this country. I often wonder how things would have turned out if he had been re-elected as Taoiseach in 97'. However like all politicians he was far from perfect.
 

Cruimh

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The good:

1. Lemass (arrived into office ten years too late but promoted a newer group of ministers who were allowed their head and, together with Whitaker, revolutionised the state's outlook and made efforts to lead us out of isolation)

The mixed:

2. de Valera (reconciled a large proportion of the population to the state through the 1937 constitution, stood up to efforts to overthrow democracy in the early 30s by people who should have known much better, made a genuine improvement to the lives of many of the less well-off through investment in housing and improvements in welfare and land reform - there's a reason why the working-classes and poorer farmers were traditionally loyal to FF - after neglect from a previous government, arguably buffered the state from the worst economically in the 30s through protectionism and import substitution, kept the state out of a war in which it would have been insufficiently defended and internally divided, but then failed to move with the times, retaining protectionism after it had outlived its usefulness and allowing the state to become insular and isolated. He may have been too close to clerical influence to our liking, but he was not exceptional for that period compared with those who preceded or succeeded him. Had he left office after 1945 or even after the 1948 electoral defeat, his reputation would be improved today.)
3. Cosgrave (Sr.) (set the institutions of the state - courts, Gardaí, democratic institutions - in place, made progress on economic development with the Shannon scheme, and allowed a transition to government by his civil war opponents, but also institutionalised much of the repressive clerical control - bans on contraception and divorce, censorship of books and films - that is nowadays lazily ascribed to de Valera and followed an excessively laissez-faire economic course that left the less well-off to rot)
4. Lynch (personally honest, managed things through the early 1970s, but no real vision and allowed a needless financial crisis in his last two years by politically unnecessary promises)
5. Haughey (intellectually brilliant but utterly self-serving and lacking any kind of conscience, disastrous in his first period in office but was fortunate in that his final period of government coincided with an economic upturn in the UK, but did put some of the foundations for later economic growth in place)
6. FitzGerald (well-intentioned and capable of being inspiring, did achieve the Anglo-Irish achievement, but was ineffective as a leader during economic hard times and failed to achieve most of his plans for social change)
7= Bruton (led one of the best governments in recent times although it was a collective rather than individual achievement, and the judgement of anyone who allowed himself to be influenced by Eoghan Harris needs to be questioned)
7= Reynolds (put in the groundwork which was to lead to the GFA, ignoring much of "respectable" opinion in the process, and led a couple of economically sane governments under which the economy started to power ahead, but then allowed his pr1ckliness to provoke meaningless quarrels leading to their destruction. Both he and Bruton are marked down for only having short periods in office.)

More bad than good:

9. Ahern (only the genuine achievement of the GFA saves him from being the worst ever, a man who took a prospering economy and allowed it to be turned into a Ponzi scheme by a bunch of political and financial shysters)

The bad:

10. Costello (a non-entity, allowed excessive deference to the Catholic Church and medical profession to derail real healthcare reform in his first term, and achieved nothing at all in his second)
11. Cosgrave (Jr.) (ineffective during an economic crisis, sabotaged his own government on contraception, and allowed an authoritarian climate of censorship, police brutality and state bullying to take hold)
12. Cowen (was left holding the doomsday machine built under Ahern's watch when it exploded - having failed to make any real effort to defuse it during his time as Finance minister - and then made things even worse by following policies which have almost certainly destroyed the general welfare of the state for the next generation)
Certainly fits in with the impression I get though from what I've seen the first three would be interchangeable.
 

RahenyFG

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1 Eamon De Valera
2 W T Cosgrave
3 Sean Lemass
4 Bertie Ahern
5 Brian Cowen
6 Charlie Haughey
7 Albert Reynolds
8 Garret Fitzgerald
9 John Costello
10 John Bruton

Dev and W T between them stabilised at the most difficult time
Where's Liam Cosgrave and Jack Lynch or are you doing just a top 10?
 

Bleu Poppy

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Aarrrrgh what a collection of idiots, crooks, traitors, lunatics and bumbling non-entities!

I could pick 12 random people off the street and they'd be of more use to the country than any of our inbred moronic political class.
Ahem, far be it from me to defend a founding member of the MaFFia. BUT, either you accept the accepted fiction that the peasant girl Kate Coll met and married an exotic creature by the name of Juan De Valera in the States and had a child by him... or you accept the stories that circulate in rural Limerick that she was made pregnant by a member of the landlord class before she went to the States. Either way, 'tis hardly in-breeding.

I'll leave to others to pick apart other such accusations.
 

RahenyFG

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2and 4 were disasters. You are right with 1 ,3,5. 11 should be at 4
I think Jack Lynch did a good job. He managed the state well in the 60s and 70s. He showed courage and honesty when dealing with the Troubles and the Arms Crisis .

Bertie was a charismatic leader. Good people skills and highly popular. Good Friday Agreement, implementation of good laws like the smoking ban and the rearranging of the Irish Constitution to state one had to be born in Ireland and have Irish parents to qualify for Citizenship. He left the economy in a poor state and was slightly corrupt in the background but he did good work as a Taoiseach.

Albert Reynolds should have been higher you say? I never liked him. Poor leader, was guilty of 'jobs for boys' and his intransigence led to the collapse of the FF-PD coalition in 1992.
 

RahenyFG

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The bad:

10. Costello (a non-entity, allowed excessive deference to the Catholic Church and medical profession to derail real healthcare reform in his first term, and achieved nothing at all in his second)
Costello wasn't that bad. Important laws came into being during his reign. Ireland becoming a republic in 1949 and Ireland joining the United Nations in 1955. He led governments of different political viewpoints with purpose and strength. The Mother and Child Scheme which led to the collapse of his government was more to do with the huge influence the Catholic Church had in Irish society in the 50s than the failings of the Costello and his Inter Party government of 1948-1951.
 

Observer

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Costello wasn't that bad. Important laws came into being during his reign. Ireland becoming a republic in 1949 and Ireland joining the United Nations in 1955. He led governments of different political viewpoints with purpose and strength. The Mother and Child Scheme which led to the collapse of his government was more to do with the huge influence the Catholic Church had in Irish society in the 50s than the failings of the Costello and his Inter Party government of 1948-1951.
Actually, the 1948-51 government fell because a couple of rural independents withdrew their support over farmers not getting high enough prices for their milk. Less dramatic but equally fatal.

It had previously distinguished itself when first coming into office by sending a letter to the Pope pledging its loyalty - something that no Irish government had done before or since. That's what I'm referring to by excessive deference.

The 1954-57 government (to be fair, much like its 1951-54 predecessor) presided over economic stagnation and widespread emigration at a time when economies elsewhere were booming. UN membership is not much of a feather in the cap in that context.
 

west'sawake

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The Good:

1. W.T. For holding it together at a terrible time, for bedding down the State, and for putting country before party

2. Lemass: For having the courage to break the shackles of insular protectionism, for his vision North and South, seeing in O Neill a Unionist who was not insular.

3. Reynolds: For taking a risk for peace when no-one else would and for his non reckless stewardship of the economy and not undoing MacSharry/Dukes great work

4. Cosgrave Liam: For seeing us through the worst Oil Crisis, and for being true to his convictions, even voting against his own Government.

5. Lynch: For keeping his head when Haughey, Blayney and Boland were losing theirs, and for his avoiding another bloody civil war (I'll even forgive him Martin O Donoghue and the 77 Manifesto that wrecked the economy and destroyed effective, self financing, local Govt)

6. Ahern: For bringing the peace process to a successful conclusion with his Bertiesque patience, conciliation, mediation and marathon, skills. Peace in Ireland means I'll forgive his corporatist, peronist, cronyism. Besides, I don't think he was in politics for the money, like C.J. At the end of the day he really was a simple, hospital, accountant; and union loving, Bass man.

7. Bruton: For a very successul Rainbow Govt that turned in the first surplus after the deficits of the 80s and early 90s, and for sensible fiscal policies, the 12.5% corporation tax, and the Criminal Assets Bureau.

8. Dev for strengthening our sovereignty, for creating a State that could feed, clothe, and support its own population during the emergency, and for that fantastic response to Churchill's patronising drivel.

The Bad:

1) Cowan, for failing to see around corners, for being at the helm as Finance minister and blowing the boom, for not seeing the obvious storms as Taoiseach when every one else was, for depending on an architecture that was part of the problem, (Social Partnership), and for making the wrong call, too often, and the right call too late.

2) Costelloe: For declaring a Republic at the wrong time and for not handling Noel Browne better and thus allowing Dev back for a decade of stagnation.

3) Fitzgearld for doubling the national debt, for dithering, for his useless focus on things such as a Constitutional Crusade when the country was going down the swanny, and for his failure to stand up to spendthrift Labour, and for creating a hetergeneous monstrosity that was FG under his tenure, made up of left, right, liberal, conservative, pulled in every direction and unable to get the country moving forward at all. And for his hopeless fawning of Maggie T who handbagged him in the end.
And, if you doubt me, go ask Leo.
 
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TommyO'Brien

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The good:

1. Lemass (arrived into office ten years too late but promoted a newer group of ministers who were allowed their head and, together with Whitaker, revolutionised the state's outlook and made efforts to lead us out of isolation)
He did. But it was the Second Inter-Party Government that appointed Whittaker and commissioned him to produce his revolutionary plan that involved effectively reversing decades of De Valera policy. To Lemass's eternal credit he implemented it. But there would have been no Whittaker and no economic plan without Sweetman and Costello insisting on breaking the rules by appointing Whittaker and asking him to take a thorough, no-holes barred, analysis of state economic policy.

In addition it was the first Inter-Party Government that created the IDA with Morrissey. Lemass in the 1951 election insisted that the first thing he would do when he became minister was abolish the IDA. Thankfully he didn't. Lemass was an exceptional taoiseach, but it must be qualified by the fact that many of his most radical and crucial actions involving ditching policies he himself was the author of and had pushed since 1932, and implementing plans others had commissioned. That he did so deserves enormous praise. But the fact that he was a key author of the policies that created the mess in the first place has also to be acknowledged.
 

President Bartlet

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1. Sean Lemass
2. Eamon De Valera
3. Jack Lynch
4. W T Cosgrave
5. Bertie Ahern
6. John A Costello
7. Garret FitzGerald
8. Liam Cosgrave
9. Albert Reynolds
10. John Bruton
11. Charles Haughey
12. Brian Cowen
 

LeDroit

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Mar 11, 2010
Messages
1,768
1. Sean Lemass
2. Eamon De Valera
3. Jack Lynch
4. W T Cosgrave
5. Bertie Ahern
6. John A Costello
7. Garret FitzGerald
8. Liam Cosgrave
9. Albert Reynolds
10. John Bruton
11. Charles Haughey
12. Brian Cowen
Good list but I'd put Charlie in at number 6 and push the others down. He was as corrupt as any African leader but he did gets things done. He also had great vision-eg IFSC- and redeemed his profligate first term with a fiscally responsible final term when he genuinely saved the solvency of the State.
 

myquest

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Apr 18, 2011
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8
1. Sean Lemass
2. Eamon de Valera
3. Jack Lynch
4. WT Cosgrave
5. John Bruton
6. Garret Fitzgerald
7. John A Costello
8. Albert Reynolds
9. Liam Cosgrave
10. Charlie Haughey
11. Bertie Ahern
12. Brian Cowen
 


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