RB Richard BurkeDocuments from  to 
In 1976 Richard Burke was nominated Ireland’s European Commissioner. He succeeded Patrick Hillery, who had returned to Ireland to become President. On the completion of his four-year term at the European Commission he spent a year at Harvard University as a fellow from 1980 – 1981. When he returned to Ireland he was invited by his Irish political party Fine Gael to stand in the 1981 general election, however he was not part of the short-lived Cabinet under Irish PM Garret Fitzgerald. At the February 1982 election, he retained his seat, but Fine Gael lost office. He was nominated by the opposition party leader, Charles Haughey as a European Commissioner, for a second time from 1 April 1982 to 5 January 1985.
During his first period in the Commission, Burke was given the portfolio of transport, taxation, consumer affairs and relations with the European Parliament. In his second term, when he took over from the Irish Commissioner, Michael O'Kennedy, he became Commissioner for Inter-institutional Relations and Administration. As Vice-President of the Commission, he was also given responsibility for handling the problems with Athens following the entry of Greece into the EEC.
Content and Structure
Most of the files concern the first four years that Richard Burke spent in the European Commission in Brussels from 6 January 1977 to 6 January 1981.
Furthermore, for the most part the fonds is comprised of speeches that Burke made while carrying out his official duties.
Burke was known in the Jenkins Cabinet as an avid speech writer with a very full calendar of speaking engagements. The news potential of these engagements was also thanks to the work of Burke's able assistants, Alan Dukes, Noel Coghlan, Liam Hourican and Donal Kerr.
Conditions of Access and Use
The fonds is open to researchers