Padraig Faulkner was born in Dundalk in 1918, and was educated at Dundalk CBS. He grew up in Dunleer with a Fine Gael father and Fianna Fail mother.
Pádraig was first elected to Dáil Éireann in de Valera’s last general Election in 1957. Together with the legendary Frank Aiken and Senator Joe Farrell, Pádraig formed part of a very distinguished and capable Fianna Fáil team in the constituency that gave unrivalled service to the people of Louth.
It was Seán Lemass who first promoted Pádraig and set him on train for a long and distinguished Ministerial career. Pádraig had a life-long love of the Irish language and Lemass, recognizing this, appointed Pádraig Parliamentary Secretary for the Gaeltacht in 1965.
In 1968, Pádraig was first appointed to the cabinet table by Jack Lynch. He first served as Minister for Lands. Under Jack Lynch’s leadership, he later served as Minister for Education, Minister for Posts and Telegraphs and Minister for Tourism and Transport. In Charles Haughey’s first Government, Padraig served as Minister for Defence.
Faulkner played a significant role in the Arms Crisis and was among of a number of senior TDs who organised the assembly of TDs and Senators in Dublin Airport to welcome Lynch home from the United States after the defendants had been found not guilty at the Arms Trial
Faulkner was retained in the cabinet until 1980 when he was elected Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann, before retiring from politics in 1987.
In a Dáil career that spanned 30 years his most notable achievements include the introduction of the legislation to establish two commercial semi-State companies, An Post and Telecom Éireann.
After his retirement from front line politics, Faulkner was subsequently appointed to the Council of State by President Patrick Hillary in 1990.
A local councillor in Drogheda, Cllr Frank Maher, had this to say about Mr Faulkner: “Sad to learn of the death of Padraig Faulkner. One of the giants of politics in Louth. Despite high office he never lost touch with the people who elected him. Will be greatly missed by those who were privileged to work with him over many campaigns.”