Killorglin TD, Timothy ‘Chub’ O’Connor is one of the most significant political figures in twentieth century politics in Kerry not least because he served in Dáil Éireann for twenty years and is the only TD to have hailed from Launeside.
Born in London in 1906 where his family lived at the time, he moved to Meanus, Killorglin as a child. Both his parents died when he was young and his only brother died of TB in 1911. He played rugby and football and trained greyhounds securing national success with several dogs including ‘Spanish Battleship’ which won four Irish derbies.
O’Connor served with No. 2 Brigade of IRA during War of Independence. He founded T O’Connor & Sons builders’ providers in Killorglin and worked as a general merchant and contractor. During the Second World War, he secured contracts for the supply of turf from Kerry bogs to the government for use in the major cities.
A member of Kerry County Council for the Killorglin Electoral Area from 1948, O’Connor served as its chairman in 1974-1975.
He was first elected to the Dáil in 1961 alongside party colleague, Honor Mary Crowley and later Killarney TD, John O’Leary. He continued to hold his seat at all subsequent elections until he lost his seat at the 1981 general election to Labour’s Michael Moynihan.
He was also a member of the Council of Europe: the French newspaper ‘France Soir’ referred to him as the ‘suave, soft spoken Irishman who can explode into fanatical fury when the national aspirations of his country are at stake.’
At the age of 72, O’Connor was a candidate at the European elections in 1979 but he failed to win a seat. He died on 21st July 1986.