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Michael "Godfrey" Timmins (Irish: M√≠che√°l Gofraidh √ď Toim√≠n; 6 September 1927 ‚Äď 11 April 2001) was a former Irish Fine Gael party TD who served for more than thirty years in D√°il √Čireann.

Early and private life

Born in Weaver's Square, Baltinglass, County Wicklow, Godfrey was the eldest of four children. His father had been a Sinn Féin representative on the Baltinglass Board of Guardians, one of three Benchmen in the Republican court during the War of Independence, a pro-Treaty Cumann na nGaedhael supporter, a leading Blueshirt, and later a Fine Gael Councillor. His mother Kitty (née Godfrey) was a native of Ballyhaunis, County Mayo. He was known by his mother's maiden surname, Godfrey, to distinguish him from his father.

He attended Secondary school at the Patrician College, Tullow and later at Naas Christian Brothers School. After finishing school he worked in the family business and as a farmer and butcher in Baltinglass.

He was a keen Gaelic footballer. In 1946 he was the Baltinglass club delegate to the Wicklow County G.A.A. Board. He served as Chairman of the local club from 1952 to 1970 and club President from 1971 until his death in 2001.

A practising Catholic all his life, he died in 2001. His son Billy Timmins is currently a Fine Gael TD.

Political career

Godfrey became active in politics with Fine Gael. In the local elections of 1950 he succeeded in being the only Fine Gael candidate elected to the County Council. He was re-elected in each subsequent local election and held the position of Chairman on the Council on four occasions (1975, 1978, 1981, 1996).

He was also part of the council's committee on Agriculture, Wicklow VEC, and the Eastern Health Board.

Godfrey was first elected to the 18th D√°il as a TD for Wicklow at the April 1968 by-election caused by the death of Labour TD James Everett. He was re-elected in each subsequent election until the 1987 general election when he lost his seat to fellow Fine Gael candidate, Gemma Hussey. Refusing to stand for the Seanad he re-gained his seat in the next general election and remained as a TD until he retired at the 1997 general election. He was succeeded in D√°il √Čireann by his son Billy Timmins.

During his time in the D√°il he served as a member of the Committee on Procedure and Privileges, the Committee of Selection, and the Committee of Accounts. He was Fine Gael Chief Whip from 1972-3.

In 1993 at a 43rd Anniversary Dinner for him Fine Gael leader John Bruton commented, "If I was to go through all 166 members of D√°il √Čireann and try to identify those who have qualities of personal kindness, understanding others, and self-effacement in the greatest measure, I do not think there is any more outstanding politician than Godfrey Timmins".

References

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