John Mary "Jack" Lynch was the fourth Taoiseach of Ireland, serving two terms in office; 1966 to 1973 and 1977 to 1979.
Lynch was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a TD for Cork in 1948, and was re-elected at each general election until his retirement in 1981. He previously served as Minister for Finance (1965–1966), Minister for Industry & Commerce (1959–1965), Minister for Education (1957–1959), Minister for the Gaeltacht (1957) and as a Parliamentary Secretary. He was the third leader of Fianna Fáil from 1966 until 1979, succeeding the hugely influential Seán Lemass. Lynch was the last Fianna Fáil leader to secure (in 1977) an overall majority in the Dáil.
Prior to his political career Lynch had a successful sporting career as a dual player of Gaelic games. He played hurling with his local club Glen Rovers and with the Cork senior inter-county team from 1936 until 1950. Lynch also played Gaelic football with his local club St. Nicholas' and with the Cork senior inter-county team from 1936 until 1946. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest dual players of all-time.
Lynch's status as one of the all-time greats is self-evident. In a senior inter-county career that lasted for fourteen years he won five All-Ireland titles, seven Munster titles, three National Hurling League titles and seven Railway Cup titles. In a senior inter-county football career that lasted for ten years Lynch won one All-Ireland title, two Munster titles and one Railway Cup title.
In 1992 he suffered a severe health set back, and in 1993 suffered a stroke in which he nearly lost his sight. Following this he withdrew from public life, preferring to remain at his home where he continued to be dogged by ill-health.
Lynch died in the Royal Hospital, Donnybrook, Dublin on October 20, 1999 at the age of 82.