Reynolds, Patrick (1887–1932), merchant and politician, was born in Drumoughty, Gorvagh, Co. Leitrim, son of John Reynolds and Ellen Reynolds (née McNabola). Educated at Stracarne national school and Marlborough St. teacher training college, Dublin (1909–11), he taught for a year in Adoon national school before emigrating to the USA, where he worked on the docks and in a public house in New York and was a successful amateur boxer. In 1919 he returned to Leitrim and started farming in Keelrin, Upper Drumreilly, before establishing a public house and grocery business at 22 Main St., Ballinamore (1926). Entering politics in 1925, he was elected to Leitrim county council for Cumann na nGaedheal, securing reelection in 1928. In the September 1927 general election he was elected to Dáil Éireann for Leitrim–Sligo, securing election on the twelfth count without reaching a quota. This success in his first national election was unexpected. His principal political concerns were local issues, such as unemployment, housing, drainage, pensions, and agricultural issues; and on occasion he punctuated parliamentary debates with witty comments.
While campaigning for reelection in 1932, on 14 February (two days before polling) he was involved in a fracas at a house in Fenaghbeg, Ballinamore, during which he and a garda detective, McGeehan, were shot dead by an RIC pensioner, Joseph Leddy. It was alleged that Reynolds accused Leddy of campaigning against him and threatened to have his RIC pension (which Reynolds claimed he had been influential in securing) withdrawn. While the killings were not directly linked to republican activity, they took place against a background of fear and hostility in the Ballinamore area, resulting from a crackdown by the criminal investigation department on the IRA in the locality. The death (December 1931) of a local republican, James Veagh, was believed to have resulted from a beating he received while in custody in Ballinamore barracks, and McGeehan was accused of involvement in the beating. At the inquest into Veagh's death, which took place a few days before his own, Reynolds gave evidence in support of McGeehan. There had also been accusations of intimidation of inquest witnesses by local Cumann na nGaedheal activists. At his trial (March 1932), Leddy claimed he had acted in self-defence and that Reynolds had threatened to kill him, a plea accepted by the jury, which found him guilty of manslaughter but not of murder; he was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment. Patrick Reynolds left an estate of £2,459, and his wife was later awarded £1,050 compensation.
His wife, Mary Bridget Reynolds (1889–1974), merchant and politician, was born in October 1889 in Dromcoura, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, second eldest among four daughters and three sons of Patrick Smyth and Mary Smyth (née Holohan). Educated at Gortahoose national school and the Convent of Mercy, Ballinamore, she also emigrated to the USA, and while there married Patrick Reynolds (c.1915); they had two daughters and five sons. After her husband's death the election for the constituency of Leitrim–Sligo was postponed until March 1932, when she contested it in place of her husband and was elected with only 13 votes to spare over her nearest rival. She was defeated in the 1933 general election, but regained her seat for the new constituency of Leitrim in 1937, remaining as Fine Gael TD for Leitrim (1937–48) and Sligo–Leitrim (1948–61) until her retirement from politics in 1961. Noted as a constituency rather than a national politician, she did not speak in the dáil until 1942. The period 1947–52 was her most active parliamentary phase, and the issues that concerned her were those most closely affecting her constituency: public health, land, postwar shortages of agricultural commodities, housing, employment, and local amenities. She was succeeded as TD (Fine Gael) by her son, Pat Joe Reynolds (1920–2003) (Roscommon, 1961–9; Roscommon–Leitrim, 1973–7), who was also a member (1942–85) and chairman (1967–79) of Leitrim county council, and served as parliamentary secretary to the ministers for local government and the public service during the Fine Gael–Labour coalition of 1973–7. Her grandson, Gerry Reynolds, was elected Fine Gael TD for Sligo–Leitrim in 1987 and also served as a member of Leitrim county council. Mary Reynolds died 29 August 1974, leaving an estate of £1,449.