Hynes, Francis Alexander (‘Frank’) (1912–94), civil servant, was born 30 May 1912 in Galway city, son of Patrick Joseph Hynes, post office clerk, and Norah Elizabeth Hynes (née Dyas). The family lived on St Brendan's Road, Galway. Educated locally, he joined the civil service in May 1932 and was attached to the revenue commissioners as a customs and excise officer. He studied at UCD from 1934, graduated B.Comm. (1937), and was appointed a junior administrative officer in the Department of Finance. Transferred to the Department of Posts and Telegraphs (1942), he was made an assistant principal (1943), and from there was assigned to the Department of Social Welfare as a principal officer in January 1948, a year after its establishment. Highly respected as an adviser on public administration, he went on secondment to the UN mission in Libya (1953–5) and was an adviser to the government of Colombia (1960–62). Back in Dublin, he served as deputy assistant secretary (1956–8) and assistant secretary (1958–73) in the Department of Social Welfare and attended the International Labour Organization in 1968 and 1969 in an advisory capacity.
In June 1973 he became secretary of the department at a time when EEC largesse and general prosperity allowed Liam Cosgrave's coalition government greatly to expand the range of social welfare benefits. Hynes tackled the infrastructural reorganisation required, and expedited the necessary legislation, the difficult estimate negotiations, recruitment, and computerisation, with noteworthy resolve. His young officials pioneered research and legislative consolidation in Europe where Hynes, a long-standing member of the committee of experts on social security of the Council of Europe, was keen to put forward a positive image of Ireland. According to Tony Brown, who acted as a special adviser to the minister for health and social welfare, Brendan Corish (qv), Hynes was ‘an example of so much that is best within our public service’ (Sunday Tribune obit.). Hynes retired from the civil service on 30 May 1977. He and his wife Mary had four sons and two daughters and lived at 85 Mount Prospect Avenue, Clontarf, Co. Dublin. He died 28 November 1994 at the Royal Hospital, Donnybrook, Dublin after a long illness and was buried at St Fintan's cemetery, Sutton, Co. Dublin.