Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave and the leader of the opposition Jack Lynch pay tribute to former Taoiseach John A Costello who died in Dublin on 5 January 1976, aged 84.
John A Costello, a renowned barrister by profession, served as Taoiseach from 1948-1951 and 1954-1957. He was Attorney-General from 1926–1932.
Liam Cosgrave describes Costello as a
Most fair-minded impartial public servant.
He says that his finest quality was his respect, dedication and devotion to constitutional government.
Costello believed the new state established in 1922 marked the beginning of a new era. Decisions in the future would be taken by the ballot, not by force, but by constitutional means. His enduring contribution to the Irish nation is
The parliament responsible for the people and the government elected by that parliament alone had the authority to taken decisions on behalf of the Irish people.
Fianna Fáil leader Jack Lynch notes that John A Costello was one few remaining politicians actively involved in the formation of the state. He says that Costello had the reputation of being an aggressive man both as a lawyer and as a politician, but this aggression often covered a humane quality.
An RTÉ News report first broadcast on 6 January 1976.