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Michael Ferris (21 November 1931 ‚Äď 20 March 2000) was an Irishmarker Labour Party politician who served for more than twenty years as a member of the Oireachtas, as both a Senator and a TD. Before becoming a full-time politician, he was secretary to a veterinary practice.

Ferris was a native of Banshamarker, County Tipperary, and it was here in the 1950s, that he came under the influence of Very Rev. John Canon Hayes, Founder of Muintir na T√≠re and adopted many of his ideas for rural development embracing all sections of the community in an inclusive way. He was elected to the 13th Seanad by the Agricultural Panel in a by-election on 23 April 1975. At the 1977 general election, he was an unsuccessful candidate for D√°il √Čireann in the Tipperary South constituency, and was also defeated in the subsequent Seanad elections. He was re-elected in 1981 to the 15th Seanad, and returned again in 1982 and 1983.

At the 1987 general election, he unsuccessfully stood again in Tipperary South, but was afterwards re-elected to the 18th Seanad, again on the Agricultural Panel.In the 1989 elections to the European Parliamentmarker on 15 June, He was defeated in the Munster constituency, trailing far behind his Labour colleague Eileen Desmond, who narrowly missed a seat. However, polling in the 1989 general election was held on the same day, and he was finally elected to D√°il √Čireann, taking his seat in the 26th D√°il on his third attempt. He was re-elected at the 1992 general election and again at the 1997 general election, taking the last seat in each case.

He died suddenly while on parliamentary business in Lisbonmarker on 20 March 2000 at the age of 69. The subsequent by-election for his Dáil seat was held on 2 June and won by an independent candidate, Séamus Healy, who retained the seat at the 2002 general election. Ferris was the quintessential rural Labour TD, garnering support across party lines, especially from small farmers and the rural working class, quite in disproportion to the level of national support generally enjoyed by his party. He championed the rural agricultural economy and was Chairman of the Bansha Agricultural & Industrial Show Society for a number of years. In private life, Deputy Ferris was married twice, firstly to Josephine Tobin of Bansha and after her death to Ellen Kiely of Tipperary Town who survives him as do his four sons and two daughters.


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