José María García Leira

Category: Politician
Birth Date: 28th November 1934
Birth Place: Vilalba (Lugo)

He studied Primary Education in Vilalba and Secondary Education at the Jesuit School in Vigo. He started Law at the University of Santiago de Compostela in 1952 and graduated at the Complutense University (Madrid). He was business agent and opened a professional office in Vilalba in 1963. That same year he became estate agent, insurance broker and land agent.
He became driving instructor and run driving schools in Vilalba and Muimenta - Cospeito. He participated in a lot of ludic and cultural activities in his native village. He was president and founder of the ‘Masa Coral Vilalbesa’; cofounder of the ‘Centro Cultural Recreativo’; foundation member of the ‘Sociedad Deportiva A Conexeira’; cofounder of ‘Pepes de Vilalba’ Association and member of the ‘Padroado Hospital Asilo’. He practiced as the local judge of Vilalba from 1968 to 1978.
His political career started in the first local elections of 1979 and was elected mayor by absolute majority. He stood in the elections again from 1983 to 1987 and got even better results. During his period as mayor, these were the most outstanding actions: the construction of the fluvial beach and the industrial estate, the Cultural Centre, the retirement home, the Social Centre, ‘Plaza de la Constitución and Plaza del Mercado’, three schools and the starting of the Conservatory of Music, the creation of the Red Cross in Vilalba and over thirty bridges.
He was vicepresident of Lugo County Council from 1983 to 1990. That same year he left as mayor and vicepresident of Lugo County Council and was elected deputy and first vicepresident of the Galician Parliament. He was elected again in 1993 and four years later he became president of the Galician Parliament. In 1999 fue elegido president of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies. He was the president of this institution during 2000, when the fourth conference of presidents was celebrated in Santiago de Compostela. In 2001, he was reelected president of the Galician Parliament, he filled this office until 2005.

 Other Interesting Aspects

-President of honour of the Galician Business Agent Association.
-First vicepresident of Manuel Fraga Iribarne Foundation.
-‘Amigo de la Muralla de Lugo’.
-Member of the ‘Cofradía del Capón de Vilalba’.
-Member of the ‘Tercio de Gallegos de Buenos Aires’.
-Illustrious visitor of the city of Montevideo.
-‘Caballero del Capítulo Serenísimo del Vino Alvariño’.
-Honourable member of the Latin American Centre for Social and Political Studies of Uruguay.
-‘Caballero de la Orden de la Alquitara de Portomarín’.