1920- 1987, Minister for Defence 1976-1977. Oliver J. Flanagan was born in Mountmellick, County Laois. He was educated at Mountmellick Boys National School and worked as an auctioneer following his education. A long time member of the Knights of St Columbanus. Flanagan first became involved in politics in 1942 when he was elected as a councillor to Laois County Council, a position he would hold for almost forty-five years. Flanagan remained an Independent until 1950 when he joined Fine Gael. Four years later he joined the government as a Parliamentary Secretary (Minister of State). In 1958 Fine Gael were in Opposition and Flanagan became front bench spokesperson on Lands. In 1976 Flanagan was appointed Minister for Defence by Liam Cosgrave member of the Pian Order. He served in this position until 1977. Flanagan remained a TD until 1987 when he retired from politics due to ill health. In the 1987 general election, his son Charles Flanagan was elected to succeed him and subsequently became Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2014. Oliver’s brother- in-law of Charles McDonald, KCSG.