Grand Cross Pian Order, 7 March 1956
Born 1920 – 4 Oct 2017. Taoiseach 1974-77. Received the honour as Minister for Foreign Affairs; his father WT was also a papal knight. Leader Fine Gael 1965 and resigned 1981. His father, WT Cosgrave, had presided over successive Cumann na nGaedheal governments for 11 years. He was born in Dublin on April 13th, 1920 while his father, William, was serving one of his periods in prison for his active role in Sinn Féin. At 17 he joined Fine Gael and campaigned beside his father in the 1937 election. He studied law at UCD but interrupted his studies to join the Army in 1940 following the declaration of the EmergencyFollowing the 1948 election, Fine Gael formed part of an unwieldy coalition of five parties and Independents to keep Fianna Fáil out of power. Cosgrave was appointed a parliamentary secretary to the new taoiseach, John A Costello, also a papal knight. ould otherwise suffer economically from the change of government. He led a very private life during his long retirement, rarely appearing at public functions and never commenting on political matters.