Charles Haughey - DCU Library Haughey Archive
Charles J Haughey
Pic Credit: The Charles J Haughey Collection, Dublin City University

New online exhibition on the Charles J. Haughey Collection at Dublin City University Library

Members of the public will be able to view items from the Charles J Haughey Collection at Dublin City University Library thanks to a new virtual exhibition.

The online exhibition - which is now live - was created and built by library staff in the university and covers much of Haughey’s life and career.  

The exhibition is based on material from the collection spanning his childhood, education and political activities. Many of these records are available to the public for the first time. 

Charles J Haughey (1925-2006) was a public representative for the Fianna Fáil party for 35 years. He was Taoiseach on four separate occasions, and held ministerial office for almost 14 years. 

First elected to Dáil Éireann in 1957, Haughey successively held the ministries of Justice, Agriculture and Fisheries, Finance, Health, Social Welfare, and the Gaeltacht. He was appointed Ireland’s seventh Taoiseach in December 1979, when he also became FF party leader.

This new online exhibition reflects the depth and breadth of Haughey’s interests, and his various roles as a parliamentarian, legislator and negotiator on the national and international stages. 

It vividly illustrates his family background, and educational development from early years through to professional qualification prior to his commitment to full-time political activity.

'It is with great pleasure that we bring Charles J. Haughey's papers into the public domain. It is 30 years since he left office, and the impact of his political career and life over the previous four decades will be clear from the breadth of the collection he left behind,' said University Library John McDonough. 

'We will begin releasing the papers for consultation in phases from this autumn, and where possible online. We would also like to take the opportunity to thank the Haughey family for additional support in the ongoing management of this project of national and international interest.'

The exhibition portrays the evolution from local government and parliamentary backbenches, to his contributions in high office on economic and social issues, Anglo-Irish relations and in latter years to Ireland’s emergence in the European political forum, particularly during the government’s successful management of the Presidency of the European Community in 1990. A particular highlight here was Haughey’s role in getting German reunification onto the EC agenda during the Dublin Summit in April 1990, only a few months after the collapse of the Iron Curtain.

In 2008, the family of the late Taoiseach donated his private papers to Dublin City University. The Charles J. Haughey Collection is extensive and engaging, comprising more than 500 archival boxes of correspondence, documentation, photographic images and audiovisual content. 

It is currently being preserved, catalogued, and digitised in Dublin City University Library, and will be progressively released for research on a phased basis starting in the early autumn.


View the Exhibition

The exhibition is available for viewing online here and on the Google Arts & Culture mobile app on iOS and Android through the Dublin City University Library page.



DCU Library will be curating a physical exhibition derived from the Haughey collection. This is due to be launched in the O’Reilly Library in September 2022, on the anniversary of his birth.