Cathal O'Shannon

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Cathal O'Shannon
Cathal O'Shannon Election Poster.jpg
Teachta Dála
In office
June 1922 – 1923
Personal details
Born(1893-06-09)9 June 1893
Randalstown, County Antrim
Political partySocialist Party of Ireland
OccupationTrade union leader, Journalist

Cathal O'Shannon (9 June 1893 – 4 October 1969) was an Irish politician, trade unionist and journalist.

Born in Randalstown, County Antrim, he was educated at St Columb's College, Derry. He became a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and was involved in Conradh na Gaeilge, writing articles for the Peasant, Sinn Féin and An Claidheamh Soluis publications. He worked as a clerk in the Belfast office of the Heysham Steamship Company.[citation needed]

In 1913, he was one of the founders of Irish Volunteers in Belfast. He was a founding member of the Socialist Party of Ireland, led by James Connolly and at whose request he joined the staff of the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union in Belfast.[citation needed]

On Easter Sunday 1916, he mobilised with a hundred Volunteers at Coalisland, County Tyrone; they dispersed when there were no orders from Dublin. He was later arrested by the British authorities who interned him until the General Amnesty of 1917. He was arrested during the German Plot and went on a hunger strike. He was released seventeen days later.[citation needed]

A serving member of the Irish Republican Army in 1920-21, he supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty and was elected to Dáil Éireann in the 1922 general election as a Labour Party TD for Louth–Meath.[1]

He failed to be re-elected when he stood for the Louth constituency in the 1923 and for the Meath in the September 1927 general elections.[2] He remained a prominent figure in Labour, however, and edited The Voice of Labour and The Watchword from 1930-32.

In 1941 he became Secretary of the Irish Trade Union Congress, and afterwards of the Congress of Irish Unions. He served for twenty-three years, until his death, as one of the workers' representatives when the Labour Court was established in 1946.


He died in Dublin in 1969. His son Cathal O'Shannon was a veteran Irish broadcaster and journalist.


  1. ^ "Mr. Cathal O'Shannon". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  2. ^ "Cathal O'Shannon". Retrieved 16 April 2012.
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Thomas Foran
President of the Irish Trades Union Congress
Succeeded by
Luke Duffy
Preceded by
Eamonn Lynch
Secretary of the Irish Trades Union Congress
Succeeded by
Thomas Johnson
New office Secretary of the Congress of Irish Unions
Succeeded by
Leo Crawford