Live in Laois: General Election Focus
With the calling of the first Saturday General Election since 1918 it’s interesting to see who was elected and returned to office all of 102 years ago. In a seismic result Sinn Fein candidates surged into 73 seats whereas the heretofore dominant Irish Parliamentary party only saw 6 of their candidates being successful.
The 1918 Election result underlined that Sinn Fein was now the voice of the majority of voters in Nationalist Ireland. This electoral drubbing also highlighted how the Irish Parliamentary Party has been totally sideswiped by the historical narrative from the execution of the Easter Rising leaders in 1916 onward. Indeed this election broke the back of the Irish Parliamentary Party organisationally. Such a pummeling presaged the extinction of the party soon afterwards.
Prof. Paul Bew talks to RTE’s Bryan Dobson about the division revealed in Ireland by the 1918 General Election. To subscribe to the Century Ireland Youtube Channel click here.
The Unionist vote saw 22 Irish Unionists elected along with 3 Labour Unionists and a sole Independent Unionist.
“In Queen’s County as Laois was know then Kevin O’Higgins (Sinn Féin) was returned. 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.” (Last paragraph credit: The Journal.ie) For a full list of all candidates returned on the Island of Ireland click the Journal.ie article here.