Fionán Lynch

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Fionán Lynch in 1948

Fionán Lynch (Irish: Fionán Ó Loingsigh; 17 March 1889 – 3 June 1966) was an Irish revolutionary, barrister, politician and judge.[1]

Fionán Lynch was born in Cahersiveen, County Kerry in 1889 and educated in Rockwell College and Blackrock College. He qualified as a national school teacher in 1912 and joined the Gaelic League the same year. He produced a translation of Molière's Le Maladie Imaginaire into the Irish language for the League. He was a founder member of the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and was sworn into the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) that same year. He was a friend of Michael Collins. Lynch fought in the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916 in the Four Courts garrison with Commandant Edward Daly in North King Street. Daly was executed and Captain Fionán Lynch was sentenced to death but had the sentence commuted to 10 years penal servitude. He was imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol and later in Mountjoy Prison. He was one of the last Irishmen to speak with Thomas Ashe before he died. He was later interned in prison in England and Wales until a general amnesty in late 1917.

Upon his release Lynch resumed his paramilitary activities and was elected as an abstentionist Sinn Féin Member of Parliament for Kerry South at the 1918 Westminster Election, becoming a Member of the 1st Dáil.

Lynch at an election rally in the 1920s

At this time one of the safe houses frequently used by Lynch and Collins was at 44 Mountjoy Square, Dublin, the house of Lynch's aunt Myna McCarthy. As Teachta Dála for Kerry South he spent much time in the county on parliamentary and paramilitary activities. Many meetings were held in Tralee, in the premises of Thomas Slattery who figured prominently in the movement. Here he met Bridget Slattery and they were married in November 1919. They lived in Dublin.

He was elected as an abstenionist member of the House of Commons of Southern Ireland and a Member of the 2nd Dáil as a Sinn Féin Teachta Dála for Kerry–Limerick West at the 1921 elections. He supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty like almost all IRB members and during the Dáil Debates criticised some Anti-Treaty TDs. During the Civil War he fought with the Irish National Army and rose to the rank of brigadier. He left the army in 1923 to concentrate on his political career.

Lynch (second from the right) during the Irish Civil War

He was elected to the 3rd Dáil at the 1922 general election as a Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin TD and at each subsequent general election as a Cumann na nGaedheal and later Fine Gael deputy for the constituencies of Kerry from 1923 to 1937 and Kerry South from 1937 until 1944.[2]

Lynch served as Minister for Education from April to August 1922, as Minister for Fisheries from 1922–1930, and as Minister for Lands and Fisheries from 1930–32.

In 1932 he was re-elected to his constituency of Kerry but, with the coming to power of Fianna Fáil, he qualified as a barrister and was called to the Irish bar. In 1938 he was appointed Leas-Cheann Comhairle (deputy chairman) of Dáil Éireann but suffered serious illness and relinquished the post in May 1939.

He remained a TD until his appointment as a Circuit Court judge in 1944 to the Sligo and Donegal Circuit.

He celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Rising at Easter 1966, shortly before his death.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mr. Fionán Lynch". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 30 October 2009. 
  2. ^ "Fionán Lynch". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 30 October 2009. 
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Pius Boland
(Irish Parliamentary Party)
Sinn Féin Member of Parliament for Kerry South
1918–1922
Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
Oireachtas
New constituency Sinn Féin Teachta Dála for Kerry South
1918–1921
Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
New constituency Sinn Féin Teachta Dála for Kerry–Limerick West
1921–1922
Succeeded by
Himself
as Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin TD
Preceded by
Himself
as Sinn Féin TD
Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin Teachta Dála for Kerry–Limerick West
1922–1923
Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
New constituency Cumann na nGaedheal Teachta Dála for Kerry
1923–1933
Succeeded by
Himself
as Fine Gael TD
Preceded by
Himself
as Cumann na nGaedheal TD
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Kerry
1933–1937
Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
New constituency Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Kerry South
1937–1944
Succeeded by
Donal O'Donoghue
(Fianna Fáil)
Political offices
Preceded by
Michael Hayes
Minister for Education
Apr–Aug 1922
Succeeded by
Eoin MacNeill
Preceded by
Minister without portfolio
Aug–Dec 1922
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Seán Etchingham
Minister for Fisheries
1922–1930
Succeeded by
Himself
as Minister for Lands and Fisheries
Preceded by
Himself
as Minister for Fisheries
Minister for Lands and Fisheries
1930–1932
Succeeded by
P. J. Ruttledge