After holding several ministerial positions, he was sacked from government in 1970 when accused of using an aid fund for nationalists in Northern Ireland to import guns for the IRA. He was cleared by the Arms Trial and recalled to the front bench in 1975.
He was leader of Fianna Fáil (1979-91) and Taoiseach four times (1979-81, 1982, 1987-89,1989-92). He adopted tough economic policies and introduced savage public spending. While criticised for his lavish lifestyle and receiving massive payments from business people, Haughey was also credited with the creation of generous tax breaks for artists.