Senator calls for Dublin Airport to be named after Seán Lemass

Call comes ahead of 50th anniversary of former taoiseach’s death on May 11th

A call has been made for Dublin Airport to be named after former taoiseach Seán Lemass. The 50th anniversary of his death is marked on Tuesday.

Fianna Fáil Senator Malcolm Byrne said the former taoiseach's contribution to Irish society and the economy "is not celebrated as much as it should be" and it should be marked at a national level.

Speaking in the Seanad he said, “tomorrow, May 11th, marks the 50th anniversary of the death of whom I consider to be our greatest taoiseach – Seán Lemass”.

“I think Dublin Airport should be named after him because of the contribution he made to opening up this country” and because of his efforts on engagement with the North.


Mr Lemass, who served as leader of Fianna Fáil and taoiseach, from 1959 to 1966, is credited with expanding the economy through public spending and in attracting foreign direct investment.

Similar calls

Similar calls have been made over the past decade and in 2016 Fianna Fáil TD Éamon Ó Cuív made the same proposal at a commemoration ceremony to mark the 45th anniversary of the former taoiseach’s death. Mr Ó Cuív pointed to Mr Lemass’s contribution to the establishment of Aer Lingus in 1936.

A spokesman for then minister for transport Shane Ross said in 2016 that the minister had no plans to change the name of the airport.

The Department of Transport, currently under the remit of Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, has been contacted for comment.

The DAA, the authority operating Dublin Airport, is a semi-State agency and comes under the authority of the department.

A spokeswoman said the issue is a matter for the department.

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times