Butler, John (‘Jack’) (1891–1968), trade unionist and politician, was born in Lackendarra, Ballinamult, Co. Waterford, and grew up in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford. Leaving school aged fifteen, he became a labourer and on the formation of the ITGWU joined his local branch. Elected to the branch committee in 1918, he turned to local politics in the same year when he was elected to the Dungarvan board of guardians. In 1920 he was elected to Dungarvan urban district council, and the following year became branch secretary of the ITGWU (he held the post again in 1926).
Elected a Labour TD for Waterford and East Tipperary (1922–3), he was coopted on to Waterford county council in 1923 and retained his post through reelection until 1967. Serious industrial unrest in 1923 led to the collapse of his trade-union base, but despite this he was reelected to the dáil for the new constituency of Waterford (1923–7). In 1923 he started an auctioneering business and sought in vain to maintain his political support through clientelism. In January 1927 he resigned from the Labour party and contested the June election as an independent but was defeated. In 1933 he joined the Fine Gael party on its formation and unsuccessfully stood as a party candidate in the general election of 1937. The following year (1938) he was elected to the seanad on the Labour panel, and in 1943 again stood unsuccessfully as a Fine Gael candidate in the dáil elections. He was reelected to the seanad in 1943 and held his seat until defeated in the elections of 1957. In 1961 he once again secured a seat in the seanad, and retained it until 1965, when he did not seek reelection. He retired from public life in 1967, and died 16 February 1968, leaving estate valued at £470.
He married Jo (full name unknown); one son was Senator Pierce Butler. The family lived at St Thomas's Terrace and later Mitchell Terrace, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.