Skip to content
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies. You can change your settings or learn more here.
OK

Who was your Irish MP in 1918? Here's a list of everyone elected in that historic election

A 32-county ballot that changed the course of Irish history.
Dec 14th 2018, 12:11 AM 70,552 62

THE 1918 GENERAL Election was a truly historic moment in Ireland’s history for a variety of reasons.

Not only did it see over 70 representatives reject Westminster and set up a parliament in Dublin, but it also brought to prominence some of the people who would shape Ireland post-independence. 

As well as the historic election of Countess Markievicz, Michael Collins and Éamon de Valera were among those to be elected as Sinn Féin MPs, only to set up the first Dáil. 

The election signalled an enormous leap for the party, almost wiping out the Irish Parliamentary Party which had been the dominant voice in constitution nationalism in the previous decades. 

Across the United Kingdom there were 707 seats in total, with Ireland making up 105 of that number. 

Of the 105 Irish seats in the election, the results were:

  • Sinn Féin – 73
  • Irish Unionist – 22
  • Irish Parliamentary – 6
  • Labour Unionist – 3
  • Independent Unionist – 1

In total there were 103 Irish constituencies, two electing two MPs and the rest electing one. 

Below is a list of the winning MPs in each constituency and some information on who they were.  

Antrim

The county of Antrim had a total of 13 constituencies, nine in Belfast and four in the county outside of the city. 

Antrim East

Elected: Robert McCalmont (Unionist)

McCalmont was a British Army officer who served in the Boer War in South Africa and then in the First World War where he attained the rank of Brigadier-General.

His father was also a Unionist MP and McCalmont took the seat in the 1913 by-election before retaining it in 1918.

Antrim Mid

Elected: Hugh O’Neill (Unionist)

O’Neill was first elected to parliament in 1915 and was an MP for a continuous period until 1952 when he became Father or the House as the longest-serving continuing member. 

O’Neill was a barrister and an officer in the British Army, he was the uncle of Terence O’Neill, who became Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. 

Antrim North

Elected: Peter Kerr-Smiley (Unionist)

Kerr-Smiley was first elected in 1910 and represented the constituency until 1922. Like many of the unionist members in Ulster, he had a military background and served in the Second Boer War. 

Antrim South

Elected: Charles Curtis Craig (Unionist)

He was first elected in 1903 and was the brother of James Craig, who went on to become the First Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

The family were wealthy whiskey distillers from the Belfast area and Charles held a Westminster seat until 1929.

Belfast

Belfast Cromac

Elected: William Arthur Lindsay (Unionist) 

This is the one and only time this constituency existed, it comprised the western half of South Belfast and contained the then Cromac and Windsor wards of Belfast Corporation.

Lindsay served until the constituency was abolished in 1922. 

Belfast Duncairn

Elected: Edward Carson (Unionist)

Sir Edward Carson/Anti-Home rule Edward Carson during his campaign opposing Home Rule. Source: PA Images

Carson was the foremost figure in Irish unionism in the early part of the 20th century. 

Born on Harcourt St in Dublin and educated at Trinity College, he was a formidable lawyer before making opposition to Home Rule for Ireland the focus of his political career.

He is commemorated with a statue at Stormont.

Belfast Falls

Elected: Joseph Devlin (Irish Parliamentary)

346px-Joe_Devlin Joseph Devlin of the IPP Source: National Library/Wikimedia

Born in Belfast, Devlin entered politics properly in 1902 and became one of the leading lights of the Irish Parliamentary Party during the debate on Home Rule, contesting the 1918 election as the party’s leader.

He defeated Eamon De Valera in the constituency, with the De Valera being on the ballot in a number of constituencies and being elected in two. 

Following partition, Devlin tried to rejuvenate moderate nationalism in Northern Ireland but his success was limited. 

Belfast Ormeau

Elected: Thomas Moles (Unionist)

Moles was a journalist and became managing editor of the Belfast Telegraph from 1924 to 1937.

He was the first member to be declared elected to the Northern Ireland House of Commons, which existed for over 50 years until 1972. 

Belfast Pottinger

Elected: Herbert Dixon (Unionist)

An alumnus of the Royal Military College Sandhurst, he fought in the Boer War and World War I.

A senior figure in Northern Irish politics after partition, he was briefly tipped to be Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. 

Belfast St. Anne’s

Elected: Thomas Henry Byrne (Labour Unionist)

Byrne was a member of the Ulster Unionist Labour Association (UULA), an association of trade unionists co-founded by Edward Carson. 

He represented the St. Anne’s constituency until 1922. 

Belfast Shankill

Elected: Samuel McGuffin (Labour Unionist)

McGuffin was a founder member of the UULA and went on to be elected to the Northern Ireland House of Commons.

Belfast Victoria

Elected: Thompson Donald (Labour Unionist)

Donald was from Islandmagee in County Antrim and was a shipbuilder by trade before becoming a prominent union figure who also opposed Home Rule.

He was honorary secretary of the UULA.

Belfast Woodvale

Elected: Robert John Lynn (Unionist)

Lynn was the Editor of the Northern Whig newspaper from 1913 to 1928 and was knighted in 1924. 

Queen’s University Belfast

31955264828_e0c922cdcd_z Queen's University Belfast. Source: Flickr/itmpa

Elected: William Whitla (Unionist)

One of three Irish universities to have seats in Westminster, Queen’s elected William Whitla as an MP.

A leading figure in Ulster medicine, Whitla penned medical textbooks that earned him an international reputation.

He was knighted in 1902 and elected President of the British Medical Association in 1909. Whitla was a leading benefactor to both Queen’s and Methodist College Belfast and he is commemorated in both.

While very religious, he criticised religious interference in university education.

Armagh

Armagh Mid

Elected: James Rolston Lonsdale (Unionist)

Lonsdale was elected for the first time in 1918 after taking the seat from his brother, John who was elevated to the House of Lords. James served until his death in 1921.

Armagh South

Elected: Patrick Donnelly (Irish Parliamentary)

A native of Derry, Donnelly defeated a Sinn Féin candidate to win and his victory was widely interpreted as a victory for Irish moderate nationalism.

The Cork Examiner greeted his victory by proclaiming it as: “a triumph of reason and patriotism over a foolish campaign which aims at an impossible Republic.”

Carlow

Carlow

Elected: James Lennon (Sinn Féin)

From Borris in the county, Lennon was one of 24 Sinn Féin candidates to be elected unopposed.

He couldn’t attend the first Dáil in the Mansion House because he was in prison in Belfast after reading the proclamation in August 1918. 

According to the Irish Times, following his election and imprisonment he received a large crowd on parole visit home to his ill mother.

He went on to be elected to the 2nd Dail, opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty and voted against it. He stood unsuccessfully as an anti-Treaty Sinn Féin candidate at the 1922 general election.

Cavan

Cavan East

364px-Arthur_Griffith Source: Wikimedia

Elected: Arthur Griffith (Sinn Féin)

Dublin-born Griffith founded Sinn Féin in 1905 and was one of the predominant nationalist figures in the early 20th century. 

In the 1918 election, he was elected in both Cavan East and Tyrone North West.

Despite founding Sinn Féin, he remained as much a journalist as a politician in the early years of the 1900s, having founded and edited The United Irishman newspaper.

He didn’t take part in the Easter Rising but was arrested in the aftermath nonetheless.

After giving way to allow De Valera to lead the party, he still remained influential and led the Treaty negotiations.

He was pro-Treaty and became President of the Dáil in 1922. 

Cavan West

Elected: Peter Paul Galligan (Sinn Féin)

From Carrigallen in Co. Leitrim, Galligan was elected unopposed.

He arrived in Dublin in 1910 and joined the IRB that same year, also training as a draper. 

Galligan was on guard duty at O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral in 1915, was a member of the Enniscorthy Volunteers and fought in 1916. 

He was interned in Dartmoor Prison following the Easter Rising and was initially sentenced to death, but it was commuted to five years penal servitude.

Dublin Castle files described him as “one of the most dangerous men in the Rebel Movement”.

Galligan was also a member of the Kickhams GAA club in Dublin.

Clare

Clare East

Elected: Éamon De Valera (Sinn Féin)

De Valera statue Source: Niall Carson/PA Images

Needing little introduction, De Valera is probably the foremost figure in Ireland’s transition into an independent republic.

One of leaders of the Easter Rising who commanded Boland’s Mill, De Valera was sentenced to death but was spared.

He had been arrested and jailed in mid-1918 but was nonetheless elected in two constituencies, Clare East and Mayo East. 

Because of his imprisonment, De Valera could not attend the first meeting of the Dáil in January 1919. 

The following month he was broken out of Lincoln jail and in April, at the second meeting of the Dáil, he was elected as its president.

Clare West

Elected: Brian O’Higgins (Sinn Féin)

Another member who was in prison when they were elected.

O’Higgins was a poet from Meath who moved to Dublin in 1901. He was the Gaelic League organiser in Meath and Cavan and joined the 1916 Rising but did not fight because of his health.

He was imprisoned following the Rising in Stafford Gaol and Frongoch. He opposed the Treaty and was returned unopposed as a TD in 1922.

He went on hunger strike in 1923 when he was interned and later founded the republican Wolfe Tone Publication, which appeared until 1962.

Cork

Cork City

Elected: James Joseph Walsh & Liam de Róiste (both Sinn Féin)

This was a two-seat constituency, one of just two in the country. 

Known as JJ, Walsh fought in the GPO in 1916 and was involved in the founding of the Cork City Irish Volunteers. He was also very active in the GAA.

Supporting the Anglo-Irish Treaty, he served as Postmaster General from 1922-1924.

De Róiste was founder member of the Cork branch of the Gaelic League and was chairman of the first meeting of Sinn Féin in Cork.

He was close to Tomas MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney. Indeed, he was recipient of one of the last letters written by MacSwiney before his death on hunger strike in Brixton Prison.

Cork East

Elected: David Kent (Sinn Féin)

During the Easter Rising, Kent and his brothers and mother were involved in the only armed clash outside Cork.

During a gun battle during a raid on their house, the RIC Head Constable was killed and he himself was seriously injured. Kent’s brother was executed for the murder of the Constable. Another brother was killed during the gunfight.

Released from prison in 1917, he fought in the War of Independence despite being in his 50s.

Kent opposed the Treaty and fought in the Civil War beforing touring the US on Sinn Féin publicity campaigns in 1927-28.

Cork Mid

197px-Terrence_mac_swiney Source: Wikimedia

Elected: Terence MacSwiney (Sinn Féin)

A leading Cork republican, MacSwiney was one of the founders of the Cork Brigade of the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and a prolific nationalist writer.

Elected unopposed in 1918, he went on to become Lord Mayor of Cork in 1920.

Arrested and tried by court-martial that same year, MacSwiney went on hunger strike in Brixton Prison, which brought international attention to Ireland. 

He died after falling into a coma after 74 days of hunger strike and at his funeral in Cork Arthur Griffith delivered his graveside oration.

Cork North

Elected: Patrick O’Keefe (Sinn Féin)

O’Keefe was an early member of Sinn Féin in Dublin and took part in the Easter Rising of 1916.

He had a close relationship with Michael Collins and was elected while in prison.

He supported the Treaty and after losing his seat in the June 1922 election was appointed Deputy Military Governor of Mountjoy Prison.

There, he ran a prison that contained many former comrades. He would eventually become Clerk of the Seanad.

Cork North-East

Elected: Thomas Hunter (Sinn Féin)

Hunter was stationed at Jacob’s Biscuit Factory during the Easter Rising before being was one of the commanding officers, alongside De Valera and Thomas Ashe, in Lewes Prison.

He later led the 1920 Mountjoy Prison hunger strike and at the 1922 general election he stood unsuccessfully as an anti-Treaty Sinn Fein candidate.

Cork South

Michael_Collins_and_Arthur_Griffith Michael Collins alongside Arthur Griffith. Source: Wikimedia

Elected: Michael Collins (Sinn Féin)

Another figure who needs little explanation, Collins fought in the GPO in 1916 and in the post-Rising period became one of the leading figures in Irish republicanism. 

Collins became Minister for the Finance in the first Dáil and during the War of Independence he was the President of the IRB and Director of Intelligence of the IRA.

Following War of Independence, he negotiated the Treaty along with Griffith and others and pushed the Dáil to ratify it. 

Collins was commander of the Free State army in the Civil War and was assassinated in August 1922.

Cork South East

Elected: Diarmuid Lynch (Sinn Féin)

Lynch was born in 1878 and was originally called Jeremiah.

He emigrated to the US in 1896 and became a naturalised US citizen. This status made him useful in the build up to the Easter Rising where he helped raise funds to buy guns for the Irish volunteers.

He served in the GPO during the Easter Rising and his death sentence was commuted to 10 years penal servitude after Woodrow Wilson intervened.

After the amnesty, he was arrested again in 1918 and deported to the US. He was elected to the Dáil from the US, but resigned in 1920 over a dispute between De Valera and the US-based Friends of Irish Freedom. He returned to Ireland in 1932.

Cork West

Elected: Sean Hayes

Hayes also fought in the GPO and was the editor of the Southern Star newspaper. 

He was re-elected to the 2nd and 3rd Dáil and was pro-Treaty.

Derry

Londonderry City

Elected: Eoin MacNeill (Sinn Féin)

From Co Antrim, Eoin MacNeill was one of the key figures in the Gaelic revival and a co-founder of the Gaelic League.

He was the first editor of the An Claidheamh Soluis newspaper and also a professor of history at UCD, the latter role also seeing him also elected in the NUI constituency. 

He founded the Irish Volunteers and was its chief of staff but was opposed to the Easter Rising and attempted to order Volunteers not to take part.

Londonderry North

Elected: Hugh Anderson (Unionist)

Elected in the 1918 election and sworn in on 10 February 1919, he resigned just three days later.

Londonderry South

Elected: Denis Stanislaus Henry (Unionist)

Born in 1864 to a prominent and wealthy Catholic family, he became a lawyer and quickly established a reputation as a prominent lawyer. He became a QC at the Irish Bar at the age of 32.

Despite being a Catholic, he still received significant support from Unionist voters. His unionism did attract criticism from Catholics, however.

He was appointed Attorney General for Ireland in July 1919 and was also the first Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland. He died suddenly in 1925.

Donegal

Donegal East 

Elected: Edward Kelly (Irish Parliamentary)

From Ballyshannon, Kelly was a senior counsel who was first elected as an MP in 1910. He benefited from an electoral pact which shared seats in Ulster between the IPP and Sinn Féin. 

He continued to sit in Westminster and in later years he  unsuccessfully ran for election in the 1927 election for Cumann na nGaedheal.

Donegal North

Elected: Joseph O’ Doherty (Sinn Féin)

Doherty was born in Derry in 1891 and was educated in St Columb’s College.

He was in charge of organising the Rising in Derry and was arrested and imprisoned in Kilmainham and Frongoch.

He was present at the Mansion House for the meeting of the first Dáil and during the Civil War he was anti-Treaty and later a founder member of Fianna Fáil.

He was called to the bar in 1936 and practised as a barrister in 1945.

He also successfully sued fellow war of independence fighter Ernie O’Malley for libel for implying that he was a coward for declining to take part in an IRA attack in Donegal in 1919 in his memoirs.

Dying in 1979, he was one of the last surviving members of the first Dáil.

Donegal South

Elected: Peter Joseph Ward (Sinn Féin)

Ward represented Sinn Féin in the first three Dáils and represented Cumann na nGaedheal in the 4th.

When he resigned his seat 1923, the person who won the subsequent by-election was Denis McCullough, the President of the IRB during the Easter Rising.

Donegal West

Elected: Joseph Sweeney (Sinn Féin)

Sweeney was the youngest member elected to the first Dáil, aged 21 years and six months. He remains the second-youngest person elected to the Oireachtas.

Despite being born in Donegal, he attended Padráig Pearse’s St Enda’s school in Dublin and was sworn into the IRB by Pearse.

He fought in the GPO and was one of the stretcher bearers for James Connolly.

Down

Down East

Elected: David Reid (Unionist)

The 1918 election was his first successful election and he remained an MP until his death in 1939.

Reid was the chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party in Westminster and died in London in 1939 before being buried in Co. Down.

Down Mid

Elected: James Craig (Unionist)

357px-James_Craig,_1st_Viscount_Craigavon Source: Wikimedia

Along with Edward Carson, Craig was the leading unionist voice against Home Rule and became the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. 

While he largely worked behind the scenes in opposition to Home Rule, he was the obvious candidate after partition to be Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

He died in 1940 and was buried in the grounds of Stormont.

Down North

Elected: Thomas Watters Brown (Unionist)

From Newtownards and a barrister by profession, Brown was first elected to Westminster in 1918.

He was appointed as Solicitor-General for Ireland and Attorney-General for Ireland and was the last person to hold those roles.

Down South

379px-Frank_MacDonagh,_Jeremiah_MacVeagh_1898 Frank McDonagh (L) and Jeremiah McVeagh (R). Source: National Portrait Gallery London

Elected: Jeremiah McVeagh (Irish Parliamentary)

A barrister and journalist, he was first elected in 1902 and was re-elected numerous times until 1922.

In 1913 he presented the Jeremiah McVeagh Cup to the Down County GAA Board.

The cup has been presented to the winners of the annual Down Senior Hurling Championship ever since.

Down West

Elected: Daniel Martin Wilson (Unionist)

Born in Limerick and educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and at Trinity College, Dublin, Wilson preceded Thomas Watters Brown as Solicitor-General for Ireland.

Dublin

Dublin Clontarf

Elected: Richard Mulcahy (Sinn Féin)

Born in Waterford, Mulcahy was Minister for Defence in the first four Dáils.

He went on to an illustrious career in Irish politics following the establishment of the Free State and the end of the Civil War.

One of the architects of the Irish War of Independence as Chief of Staff of the IRA, he became the commander of the Free State army during the Civil War after the death of Michael Collins

He held numerous government portfolios during his long political career, first in Cumann na nGaedheal and then Fine Gael. He died in 1971.

Dublin College Green

Elected: Seán T. Ó Ceallaigh (Sinn Féin)

Born in Dublin, Ó Ceallaigh fought in the GPO and rose through the ranks of Irish republicanism before becoming speaker of the Dáil.

He acted aas an envoy in Paris ahead of the peace conference and after the War of Independence he opposed the treaty, later helping to found Fianna Fáil.

He was the second President of Ireland, serving for two terms until 1959.

Dublin Harbour

Elected: Philip Shanahan (Sinn Féin)

One of the poorest constituencies in the country at the time, it contained areas on the south of the Liffey near Pearse Street and on the North Docks.

Shanahan defeated the famous Alfie Byrne of the IPP in the 1918 general election.

His pub in the heart of Dublin’s Monto red light district became a meeting place for republicans and revolutionaries, as well as being frequented by British soldiers.

He fought at Jacob’s Factory during the Easter Rising.

He opposed the Treaty and plaque commemorating him was unveiled in 2014 at the LAB Gallery, which is on the site of Shanahan’s pub.

Dublin Pembroke

Elected: Desmond Fitzgerald (Sinn Féin)

A revolutionary and poet, Fitzgerald was born as Thomas Joseph Fitzgerald in 1888 to two Irish parents in London.

He wrote poetry, moved in literary circles and moved to Kerry in 1913 when he married. Fitzgerald joined the Irish Volunteers and was in charge of rations during the Rising. 

When elected in 1918 he became Director of Publicity in the first Dáil. 

He supported the Treaty later joined Cumann na nGaedheal and Fine Gael, serving as a TD and then Senator until 1943.  

He was the father of Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald.

Dublin Rathmines

Elected: Maurice Dockrell (Unionist)

Besides the two unionists elected by the University of Dublin, Dockrell was the only unionist elected outside of Ulster.

He was also husband to suffragette Margaret Dockrell and his son and two of his grandsons were Fine Gael TDs in Dublin.

In the election, his Rathmines constituency contained the highest percentage of women eligible to vote (44%).

Dublin St James’s

Elected: Joseph McGrath (Sinn Féin)

McGrath fought in the Easter Rising and was a member of the 1st to 4th Dáils.

He was pro-Treaty, a Director of Intelligence during the Civil War and founder member of Cumann na nGaedheal.

Dublin St Michan’s

Elected: Michael Staines (Sinn Féin)

From Newport in Mayo, Staines fought in the GPO during the Rising and was one of the stretcher bearers for James Connolly.

He was pro-Treaty during the Civil War and afterwards was the first Commissioner of An Garda Síochána.

Dublin St Patrick’s

mark Markievicz in the uniform of the Irish Citizen Army. Source: National Library of Ireland

Elected: Constance Markievicz (Sinn Féin)

The first woman elected to Westminster, Markievicz was an artist, aristocrat, prisoner, suffragette and soldier.

Markievicz played a prominent role in the 1916 Rising, was the second woman in the world to hold a Cabinet position and was an active member of the suffragette movement.

Makievicz was Minister for Labour in the first Dáil and remained the only female cabinet minister in Irish history until 1979. 

She opposed the Treaty following the War of Independence and in 1926 joined Fianna Fáil. She was elected to the Dáil as a Fianna Fáil candidate in 1927 but died before she could take her seat.

Dublin Stephen’s Green

Elected: Thomas Kelly (Sinn Féin)

Born in 1868, Kelly became involved in Dublin City Council and campaigned for adequate housing.

He helped found and chaired the housing committee of Dublin City Council and Tom Kelly flats and Tom Kelly Road are named for him. He was Lord Mayor of Dublin while in prison in January 1920, but was unable to assume office due to ill-health.

In later life, opened a small antiquarian bookshop on Trinity St.

Dublin North

Elected: Frank Lawless (Sinn Féin)

Born in Swords in 1870, he fought in Meath during the Easter Rising and was afterwards arrested in Lewes Prison.

He was pro-Treaty and died a few months after it was ratified after sustaining injuries in a pony trap accident.

His funeral was supposedly one of the final times Michael Collins and Éamon De Valera would stand side by side.

Dublin South

Elected: George Gavan Duffy (Sinn Féin)

Born in 1882 in Cheshire to an upper class family, Duffy was partly raised in Nice. 

He was the solicitor for Roger Casement and after his election in 1918, his language skills helped him promote the Irish cause and attack the British.

He helped negotiate the Treaty and voted for it. However, he famously said: “My heart is with those who are against the Treaty, but my reason is against them, because I can see no rational alternative.”

He became Minister for External Affairs in January 1922 but fell out with the Free State government.

De Valera later consulted with him on 1937 Constitution and he was appointed President of the High Court in 1946.

Dublin University

greening 99_90539782 Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Elected: Arthur Warren Samuels & Robert Henry Woods (both Unionist)

Sinn Féin didn’t try and contest the Trinity College constituency. While there was a nationalist candidate, he received only 9% of the vote.

Samuels was a barrister who was a Solicitor-General for Ireland.

Woods was a doctor who was educated at Trinity College Dublin and excelled in physics and in medicine. He later became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

National University of Ireland

Elected: Prof. Eoin MacNeill (Sinn Féin)

(See Londonderry City)

Fermanagh

Fermanagh North

Elected: Edward Archdale (Unionist)

Archdale hailed from a family of Ulster landowners and was elected in a by-election in 1916.

He remained an MP until 1922 and became Minister of Commerce in the Northern Ireland government.

Fermanagh South

Elected: Sean O’Mahoney (Sinn Féin)

Born in 1872 in Thomastown in Kilkenny, O’Mahoney participated in the Easter Rising and was interned at Frongoch and Lincoln gaol. 

Dundalk GAA Club Sean O’Mahony’s is named after him.

Galway

Galway Connemara

Elected: Pádraic Ó Máille (Sinn Féin)

A farmer from the Maam Valley in the constituency, Ó Máille attended the opening session of the first Dáil.

During the Civil War he opposed the Treaty and was badly wounded in the attack that left Seán Hales TD dead. 

Galway East

Elected: Liam Joseph Mellows (Sinn Féin)

Mellows was close to James Connolly and helped support the Dublin Lockout.

He famously made it back to Ireland disguised as a priest and helped organise attacks in Oranmore and Athenry during the Easter Rising. He escaped to New York and it was from here he was elected to the Dáil in 1918.

He was also elected in the Meath North constituency. 

His opposition to the Treaty cost him his life. On 8 December 1922, he was executed by firing squad as a reprisal to the assassination of Sean Hales TD.

To this day, left-wing republicans see him as a lost leader and he is commemorated by a statue in Eyre Square, Galway.

Galway North

Elected: Bryan Cusack (Sinn Féin)

Cusack was a member of the member of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Dáils. A medical doctor, he resumed his career after his political career and opposed the Treaty.

Galway South

Elected: Frank Fahy (Sinn Féin)

Involved in the GAA and the Gaelic League, he worked with Liam Mellows organising Irish volunteer units.

As a fighter in the War of Independence, he continued teaching. The story goes that he appeared in the classroom with his eyebrows singed the day after the burning of the Custom House.

He opposed the Treaty and commanded the group that occupied the Four Courts during the Easter Rising. 

He was elected Ceann Comhairle after the 1932 general election, a position he held until 1951.

Kerry

Kerry East

Portrait_of_Piaras_Béaslaí_1919 Source: Wikimedia

Elected: Piaras Beaslai (Sinn Féin)

He was born Percy Beazley in 1881 in Liverpool. His father was the editor of the Catholic Times and were an old Kerry family of English origin.

He was a journalist and writer of poems, plays and a single novel who knew James Joyce, but he also protested against the Playboy of the Western World.

Beaslai was a member of the Irish Volunteers and was involved in the IRB, fighting in the Four Courts area during the Rising.

He was pro-Treaty during the Civil War and was chosen by Michael Collins’ family to be his biographer. 

Kerry North

Elected: James Crowley (Sinn Féin)

A vet by profession, Crowley was a member of the 1st to 6th Dáils.

He supported the Treaty and was a member of Cumann na nGaedheal. He lost the 1932 election and left politics.

Kerry South

Elected: Fionán Lynch (Sinn Féin)

Born on St. Patrick’s Day 1889 in Cahersiveen, Lynch founded the Gaelic League in Swansea, Wales and taught Irish.

During the Rising he was part of the detachment that guarded Bulmer Hobson. He helped lead the Mountjoy Hunger Strike in May 1917 and could not attend the first Dáil sitting as he was in jail.

He later became a Cumann na nGaedheal TD was a circuit court judge. 

Kerry West

Elected: Austin Stack (Sinn Féin)

Born in 1879, his father was the well-known Fenian and Land League leader William Moore Stack.

A Kerry senior player in the early 20th century, he was the Chairman of the Kerry County Board between 1914-17.

He was the IRB Chief for Kerry County Centre from 1909-16 and was arrested in the wake of the Aud gun-running disaster.

He was Minister for Home Affairs in the first Dáil and he helped establish the ‘republican courts’ to supplant the British administrative system.

Firmly anti-Treaty, he remained in Sinn Féin until the of his political career.

Kildare

Kildare North

Elected: Domhnall Ua Buachalla (Sinn Féin)

Born in 1866, his grandfather was the founder of the ‘white quakers’.

A passionate Irish speaker, in 1905 he was prosecuted for using the Irish version of his name on his cart. In court, he was defended by Pádraig Pearse and later fought in the GPO during the Rising.

Ua Buachalla was the final Governor General of the Irish Free State, but used the title An Seanascal, which means Chief Steward.

He did all he could to render the role meaningless, barely taking a wage, living in his own home and rejecting in its entirety the formal and ceremonial nature of the role.

Kildare South

Elected: Art O’Connor (Sinn Féin)

O’Connor was appointed Director of Agriculture in the 1st Dáil, following the arrest of Roberty Barton.

He opposed the Treaty and fought the Civil War but wasn’t re-elected in 1922.

Kilkenny

Kilkenny North

351px-William_Thomas_Cosgrave Source: Wikimedia

Elected: WT Cosgrave (Sinn Féin)

Having joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913, Cosgrave fought under Eamonn Ceannt in the 1916 Rising.

Elected in 1918 he was Minister for Local Government during the first Dáil. He was pro-Treaty and became leader of the Cumann na nGaedhael Government when Sinn Fein divided after the 1921 Treaty was signed.

As the first President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State, he is seen as Ireland’s first Taoiseach.  

Kilkenny South

Elected: James O’Mara (Sinn Féin)

A bacon merchant, O’Mara was elected to the House of Commons in 1900 as an Irish Parliamentary Party MP. Born in 1873, he was the youngest MP elected at the time.

In 1903, he helped introduce the bill that made St Patrick’s Day a national holiday in Ireland.

In 1907, he resigned from parliament and from the IPP and joined Sinn Féin. He was the party’s director of finance during that election when he himself was returned. 

He then stowed away to America to support De Valera in fund-raising efforts and was pro-Treaty during the Civil War.

Laois

Queen’s County

Elected: Kevin O’Higgins (Sinn Féin)

This constituency comprised the whole of County Laois, then known as Queen’s County. 

O’Higgins joined the Irish Volunteers in 1915 and was captain of Stradbally company, Carlow Brigade. 

He was elected while in prison in 1918 and then became Assistant Minister for Local Government under WT Cosgrave.

He was pro-Treaty, an important figure in the early years of the Free State and was the Minister for Justice who established An Garda Síochána.

He was assassinated by three anti-Treaty IRA members in 1927.

Leitrim

Leitrim

Elected: James Dolan (Sinn Fein)

From Manorhamilton in Co Leitrim, Dolan’s brother Charles J Dolan was the first from Sinn Féin to contest a parliamentary seat in 1908.

First elected in 1918, James Dolan was a member of the first six Dáils and helped found Cumann na nGaedheal on the pro-Treaty side.

Limerick

Limerick City

Elected: Michael Colivet (Sinn Féin)

Colivet was commandant of the Limerick branch of the Irish Volunteers during the Easter Rising. 

He was a cellmate of Éamon De Valera in Lincoln prison and opposed the treaty in the Civil War period. 

In November 1932 he was appointed as chairman of the housing board to examine shortages, helping lead to a number of local housing schemes.

Limerick East

Elected: Richard Hayes (Sinn Féin)

Hayes attended school in Limerick alongside De Valera.

He became active in the IRB and was a member of the Irish Volunteers. He was a qualified doctor and treated the wounded in Ashbourne, Co Meath during the Rising.

In 1918, he was elected while in Reading gaol and was interned in the Curragh Camp during the War of Independence.

In latter years, he wrote extensively about Wolfe Tone and the links between France and Ireland.

Perhaps strangely, he was the Director of the Abbey Theatre from 1934, as well as simultaneously the presiding over Ireland’s censorship programme.

Limerick West

Elected: Cornelius Collins (Sinn Féin)

Known as Con, he was arrested ahead of the Rising as part of the Aud gun-running.

Elected to the first three Dáils, Collins shares with only one other TD that he contested and was elected in three general elections unopposed by any other candidates.

Longford

Longford

336px-Joseph_McGuiness_(38537799191) Joseph McGuinness Source: National Library of Ireland

Elected: Joseph McGuinness (Sinn Féin)

McGuinness had been second in command of the Four Courts during the Easter Rising.

He didn’t actually want to stand in the election, he was in prison at the time and Michael Collins nominated him against his will. His campaign slogan was: “Put him in to get him out”.

Louth

Louth

Elected: John J. O’Kelly (Sinn Féin)

Born on Coramore on Valentia Island off the Kerry coast, O’Kelly was a passionate writer on the Irish language. 

He was president of the Gaelic League and Minister for Education in the 2nd Dáil. 

Mayo

Mayo East

Elected: Éamon De Valera (Sinn Féin)

(See Clare East)

Mayo North

Elected: John Crowley (Sinn Féin)

A doctor who graduated from the Royal University, Edinburgh, Crowley was elected in the first four Dáils.

There is a monument to his memory on the Killala road outside Ballycastle.

Mayo South

Elected: William Sears (Sinn Féin)

Sears was a member of the IRB and an officer in the Irish Volunteers. He was also editor of the Enniscorthy Echo.

After the War of Independence, he supported the Treaty and is remembered for a quote he made in favour in response to calls to protect the flame of nationalism: “It is all very well to speak of the flame but the candle must be kept going too.”

Mayo West

Elected: Joseph MacBride (Sinn Féin)

Elected to the first four Dáils, MacBride was the brother of John MacBride who was executed by the British following the Easter Rising.

He was also the uncle of Seán MacBride, who was Chief of Staff of the IRA and a government minister.

He supported the Treaty and was one of the core founders of Cumann na nGaedheal.

Meath

Meath North

Elected: Liam Joseph Mellows (Sinn Féin)

(See Galway East)

Meath South

Elected: Eamonn (Edmund John) Duggan

From Longwood in Meath, Duggan was a lawyer and a member of the Irish Volunteers who took part in the Easter Rising.

He was involved in negotiating the truce and Treaty and took the pro-Treaty side, eventually becoming a Cumann na NGaedheal chief whip.

Monaghan

Monaghan North

Elected: Ernest Blythe (Sinn Féin)

A controversial figure, Blythe came from a Protestant and unionist background. He was also, in the 1910s, simultaneously a member of the IRB and the Orange Order. He joined the latter when he was a journalist for the North Down Herald.

He was elected to the first seven Dáils and after that to the Seanad, serving as Minister for Finance from 1923 to 1932. He was a director of the Abbey Theatre.

A figure on the Irish right, he played a seminal role in the formation of the Blueshirts.

Monaghan South

Elected: Sean MacEntee (Sinn Féin)

Born in Belfast in 1889, he led the Belfast Brigade until April 1921.

Elected to the 1st and 2nd Dáil for Monaghan constituencies, he later became one of the founders of Fianna Fáil. While in Fianna Fáil, he represented Dublin constituencies until 1969.

Offaly

King’s County

Elected: Dr. Patrick McCartan (Sinn Féin)

Born in Tyrone in 1878, he worked in Philadelphia as a bar man and organised the IRB and Irish volunteers in Tyrone.

From December 1920 to July 1921 he took part in an unsuccessful mission to Moscow, seeking Russian support for Irish independence.

In the 1945 presidential election he stood as an independent and received 19.6% of the vote. A close friend of WB Yeats, he was also one of the people who presented the GAA with the Sam Maguire in 1928.

Roscommon

Roscommon North

14595894288_83986461eb_z George Noble Plunkett Source: Wikimedia

Elected: George Noble Plunkett (Sinn Féin)

A prominent figure in Irish cultural life, Plunkett was friends with Oscar Wilde and O’Donovan Rossa. He had been a Parnellite and was later sworn into the IRB by his son Joseph Mary Plunkett, who would be executed following the Rising.

He opposed the Treaty, is listed as a “Republican” TD in the 4th Dáil and did not join Fianna Fáil.

His last poetry collection was called Eros and he has been described as “more of a scholar than a politician”.

Roscommon South

Elected: Harry Boland (Sinn Féin)

Born in Dublin in 1887, Boland joined the Irish Volunteers as a young man and took an active part in the Easter Rising of 1916. Afterwards he was imprisoned in England.

A close friend of Michael Collins, the pair mastermined the jailbreak of De Valera from Lincoln gaol. Boland then traveled to the US with De Valera to raise funds and push the Irish cause.

He was opposed to the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921 and was part of a committee set up to find a peaceful solution to the differences between the two sides.

In July 1922, he was shot and wounded while being arrested by Free State soldiers at the Grand Hotel, Skerries. He died on 31 July and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery.

Sligo

Sligo North

Elected: John Joseph Clancy (Sinn Féin)

A native of Collooney, Clancy was selected as a candidate while in prison. He defeated Thomas Scanlan of of the IPP who had been the MP since 1909. 

Clancy died at the age of 42 when he drowned in the River Shannon.

Sligo South

Elected: Alexander McCabe (Sinn Féin)

Ahead of the Rising, McCabe was prosecuted for possession of explosives. He was acquitted, despite being found with 42 gelignite cartridges, 20 detonators and six coils of fuse as he boarded a train in Ballycastle.

He sat in the first four Dáils and was pro-Treaty before resigning from Cumann na nGaedheal in 1924.

Tipperary

Tipperary East

Elected: Pierce McCann (Sinn Féin)

McCann was elected while in jail and died in prison before being able to take his seat. 

Tipperary Mid

Elected: Seamus Burke (Sinn Féin)

Elected to successive Dáils from 1918 to 1938, latterly as as Cumann na nGaedheal politician, Burke was Minister for Local Government and Public Health between 1924-1927.

He was also a barrister and in 1929 married Zeanaide Bashkiroff, a member of the Russian aristocracy.

Tipperary North

Elected: Joseph McDonagh (Sinn Féin)

The brother of Thomas MacDonagh, he was a member of  first three Dáils and died on Christmas Day 1922.

Tipperary South

Elected: Patrick James Moloney (Sinn Féin)

Present at the first sitting of the Dáil, he was elected to the first three Dáils.

He is the great-grandfather of Irish historian Eunan O’Halpin. He was present at the first sitting of the first Dáil.

Tyrone

Tyrone North East

Elected: Thomas Harbison (Irish Parliamentary)

Born in Cookstown in 1864, he was comfortably elected and fought off a Sinn Féin challenger in the election.

A solicitor by trade, he later joined the Northern Ireland House of Commons.

Tyrone North West

Elected: Arthur Griffith (Sinn Féin)

(See Cavan East)

Tyrone South

Elected: William Coote (Unionist)

Born in Cavan, he was a woolen manufacturer and also worked as an auctioneer.

He was a member of the Tyrone County Council and after partition joined the Northern Ireland House of Commons.

Waterford

Waterford City

Elected: William Redmond (Irish Parliamentary)

A son of IPP leader John Redmond, he was first elected in a by-election in Waterford in March 1918 and re-elected later that year. 

In the 1918 election, he was the only IPP member elected outside of Ulster. 

Waterford County

640px-Cathal_Brugha_commemorative_plaque A plaque on O'Connell Street remembering Brugha. Source: Wikimedia

Elected: Cathal Brugha (Sinn Féin)

Born Charles William St John Burgess, Brugha joined the Gaelic League in 1899 and adopted the Irish version of his name.

In 1913 he was made a lieutenant in the Irish Volunteers and fought during the Easter Rising of 1916. He was severely wounded during the fighting but survived.

He was Chief of Staff of the IRA during the War of Independence and was also Minister for Defence in the first Dáil. 

In the Civil War Brugha was anti-Treaty and was shot and killed in a firefight behind the Gresham Hotel in July 1922. He is buried in Glasnevin cemetery.

Westmeath

Elected: Laurence Ginnell (Sinn Féin)

Ginnell was an IPP MP for North Westmeath from 1906 and promoted the nationalist cause, drawing fame for campaigning against British recruiting in Ireland during WWI .

He later joined Sinn Féin and when not in London he and his wife lived with Countess Markievicz in Rathmines.

He was the Director of Propaganda in the 1st Dáil. He left Ireland in 1920 for the sake of his health, settling in America.

He also became Ireland’s first accredited envoy to South America before dying in 1923.

Wexford

Wexford North

Elected: Roger Mary Sweetman (Sinn Féin)

A barrister who hailed from a family heavily involved in politics, he was an early voice in favour of a truce during the War of Independence.

Wexford South

Elected: Dr James Ryan (Sinn Féin)

Ryan was medical officer in the GPO during 1916 and fought in the War of Independence.

He opposed the Treaty and later became a stalwart of Fianna Fáil, the party he helped found. He held various senior ministerial roles during his long career including being Minister for Agriculture, Finance and Health.

He is the great-grandfather of current Irish rugby player James Ryan. His grandson, Eoin Ryan became a Fianna Fáil TD and MEP.

Wicklow

Wicklow East

Elected: Sean Etchingham (Sinn Féin)

Born in 1870, Etchingham was involved in the Rising in Enniscorthy.

He was Director for Fisheries in the first two Dáils and was then opposed to the Treaty. He was arrested in 1923 and died later that year. 

Wicklow West 

Elected: Robert Childers Barton (Sinn Féin)

From a Protestant, unionist family who owned the Glendalough Estate, Barton joined Sinn Féin after 1916. 

Arrested in February 1919, he famously escaped from Mountjoy jail and left a polite note for the governor saying he had felt he had no choice but to leave because of the discomfort of the prison.

As part of the Treaty delegation and despite considerable concerns, he signed the Treaty in London before later opposing it. 

A cousin of Ireland’s fourth President Erskine Childers, he was best man at his wedding.

- With researching by Dominic McGrath

Send a tip to the author

Rónán Duffy

COMMENTS (62)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a comment

     
    cancel reply
    Back to top