At the beginning of 1997 he was thinking of retiring from politics at the next general election which would have to be held during that year. In 1988 the Minister for Finance Ray MacSharry became Ireland's European Commissioner. Reynolds was alleged to have juxtaposed and misquoted sections of the report in issuing a rebuttal before the report became public.
He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He was the fifth leader of Fianna Fáil during the same period. He previously served as Minister for Finance (1988–91) Minister for Industry and Commerce (1987–88) Minister for Industry and Energy (1982) Minister for Transport (1980–81) and Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (1979–81).