Thomas Johnson (Irish politician)

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For other people of the same name, see Thomas Johnson (disambiguation).
Thomas Johnson
Tomjohnson.jpg
Teachta Dála
In office
1922–1927
Constituency Dublin County
Senator
In office
1928–1934
Leader of the Labour Party
In office
1917–1927
Preceded by James Connolly
Succeeded by Thomas J. O'Connell
Personal details
Born (1872-05-17)17 May 1872
Liverpool, England
Died 17 January 1963(1963-01-17) (aged 90)
Nationality Irish
Occupation Trade union leader

Thomas Ryder Johnson (17 May 1872 – 17 January 1963) was an Irish nationalist politician, trade unionist and leader of the Irish Labour Party, who served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for Dublin County from 1922 to 1927.[1]

Born in Liverpool, Johnson moved to Ireland in the 1890s when he became involved in trade union and labour politics. At various times he was the president, treasurer and secretary of the Irish Trade Union Congress which was, at that time, also the Labour Party in Ireland,[2] until officially founded in 1912 by James Connolly and James Larkin. He succeeded them as leader of the Labour Party from 1917, when the party controversially did not contest the 1918 general election.

He was subsequently elected a TD for Dublin County to the Third Dáil at the 1922 general election and remained leader of the Labour Party until 1927.[3] As such, he was Leader of the Opposition in the Dáil of the Irish Free State, as the anti-treaty faction of Sinn Féin refused to recognise the Dáil as constituted. He issued a statement of support for the Government of the 4th Dáil when the Army Mutiny threatened civilian control in March 1924.[4]

Johnson is the only Leader of the Opposition from the Labour Party, or indeed from any party other than Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael. He lost his Dáil seat at the September 1927 general election, and the following year he was elected to Seanad Éireann, where he served until the Seanad's abolition in 1936.

Each Summer, Labour Youth holds the "Tom Johnson Summer School" to host panel discussions, debates and workshops.

Further reading[edit]

  • Thomas Johnson, 1872–1963, John Anthony Gaughan, Kingdom Books, Dublin, 1980, ISBN 0-9506015-3-5

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mr. Thomas Johnson". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  2. ^ UCD Library Archives, Thomas Johnson
  3. ^ "Thomas Johnson". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Irish Mutiny. New Commander Of Free State Forces". The Times. 11 March 1924.
Oireachtas
Preceded by
Séamus Dwyer
(Sinn Féin)
Labour Party Teachta Dála for Dublin County
1922–1927
Succeeded by
Joseph Murphy
(Ind)
Party political offices
New title Leader of the Opposition
1922–1927
Succeeded by
Éamon de Valera
Preceded by
James Connolly
Leader of the Labour Party
1917–1927
Succeeded by
Thomas J. O'Connell
Political offices
Preceded by
James Larkin
President of the Irish Trade Union Congress
1916
Succeeded by
Thomas MacPartlin