Jack Lynch born on august 15, 1917, under the shadow of another great city landmark, the church and steeple of St Anne’s, Shandon. He played his first hurling and football games around it. From primary school at St Vincent’s Convent school he graduated to North Monastery, the great nursery of hurling.
He got his first job in the Civil Service after being also offered an army cadetship and while working in the Cork Courthouse also studied law at UCC and, at the same time, was well into an illustrious hurling and football career.
During the 1940’s he reached the peak of athletic perfection and achievements by winning six All Ireland’s in successive years in hurling and football.
He was encouraged and cajoled into active politics by the late Tom Croft but made an instant impact on the people of Cork. He was first elected as a Fianna Fail TD for Cork in 1948 and headed the poll at all General Elections.
His vote in the 1977 General Election was Spectacular. He polled 20,079 first preferences out of a total poll of 51,837. That was two and a half times the votes he needed to be re-elected to Dail Eireann.
During his years as a politician he distinguished himself as Dail Deputy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Government, as Minister who held a number of major portfolios, as leader of his party, as Taoiseach of Government and he represented Ireland with distinction across the world.
He was Vice president of the Consultative Assembly of Europe in 1958 and President of the International Labour Conference in 1962.
But while his national and international work by its nature limited his opportunities to spend time in Cork, Jack Lynch’s abiding love of his own place and its people increased more than diminished.