County Waterford (UK Parliament constituency)

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Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
Waterford Ireland (BI Sect 7).svg
County Waterford within Ireland.
Replaced by East Waterford and West Waterford
Created from East Waterford and West Waterford

Waterford was a parliamentary constituency in Ireland, represented in the British House of Commons.

Boundaries and boundary changes[edit]

This constituency once comprised the whole of County Waterford, except for the Parliamentary boroughs of Dungarvan (1801–1885) and Waterford City (1801–1885 and 1918–1922). It returned two Members of Parliament 1801–1885 and one 1918–1922.

It was an original constituency represented in Parliament when the Union of Great Britain and Ireland took effect on 1 January 1801.

Between 1885 and 1918 the area had been divided between the constituencies of East Waterford and West Waterford. From 1922 it was no longer represented in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.


In the 1918 election Sinn Féin defeated by 3 to 1 the Nationalist candidate J. J. O'Shee representing the Irish Parliamentary Party.

The newly elected Sinn Féin MP for the constituency was Cathal Brugha. Like other Sinn Féin MPs elected that year, he did not take his seat at Westminster but instead, took a seat in the revolutionary First Dáil which assembled in Dublin on 21 January 1919. As better known figures were under arrest, Brugha became the first presiding officer (with the title of Ceann Comhairle) and a day later the first head of government (with the title of President of Dáil Éireann), of the Irish Republic.

The First Dáil[edit]

Sinn Féin contested the general election of 1918 on the platform that instead of taking up any seats they won in the United Kingdom Parliament, they would establish a revolutionary assembly in Dublin. In republican theory every MP elected in Ireland was a potential Deputy to this assembly. In practice only the Sinn Féin members accepted the offer.

The revolutionary First Dáil assembled on 21 January 1919 and last met on 10 May 1921. The First Dáil, according to a resolution passed on 10 May 1921, was formally dissolved on the assembling of the Second Dáil. This took place on 16 August 1921.

In 1921 Sinn Féin decided to use the UK authorised elections for the Northern Ireland House of Commons and the House of Commons of Southern Ireland as a poll for the Irish Republic's Second Dáil. This area, in republican theory, was incorporated in the five member Dáil constituency of Waterford–Tipperary East.

Members of Parliament[edit]

MPs 1801–1885[edit]

Year 1st Member 1st Party 2nd Member 2nd Party
1801 Hon. John Beresford Richard Power
21 Jul 1802 Edward Lee Whig
6 Jan 1806 John Claudius Beresford Tory
18 Nov 1806 Richard Power
28 Jun 1811 Sir William Beresford Tory
25 Apr 1814 Richard Power Whig/Catholic Association
25 May 1814 Lord George Beresford Tory
1 Jul 1826 Henry Villiers-Stuart Tory
2 Mar 1830 Lord George Beresford Tory
13 Aug 1830 Daniel O'Connell Repeal/Catholic Association
11 May 1831 Sir Richard Musgrave, Bt Robert Power
26 Dec 1832 John Matthew Galwey Sir Richard Keane, Bt
19 Jan 1835 Sir Richard Musgrave, Bt Patrick Power
21 Sep 1835 William Villiers-Stuart
9 Aug 1837 John Power
24 Aug 1840 Hon. Robert Carew
11 Aug 1847 Nicholas Mahon Power Repeal Robert Keating Repeal
26 Jul 1852 Liberal
(Independent Irish 1852-58)
Sir John Esmonde, Bt Liberal
(Independent Irish 1852-58)
12 May 1859 Walter Cecil Talbot Conservative
18 Jul 1865 Earl of Tyrone Conservative
31 Dec 1866 Edmond de la Poer Liberal
5 Jul 1873 Henry Villiers-Stuart Liberal
10 Feb 1874 Lord Charles Beresford Conservative Home Rule League
24 Jan 1877 James Delahunty Home Rule League
9 Apr 1880 Henry Villiers-Stuart Liberal John Aloysius Blake Home Rule League
25 Aug 1884 Patrick Joseph Power Irish Parliamentary Party
1885 Constituency divided: see East Waterford and West Waterford

MPs 1918–1922[edit]

Election Member Party
1918 Cathal Brugha Sinn Féin
1922 constituency abolished


The single-member elections in this constituency took place using the first past the post electoral system. Multi-member elections used the plurality-at-large voting system.

General Election 14 December 1918: Waterford County
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Sinn Féin Cathal Brugha 12,890 75.35 N/A
Irish Parliamentary James John O'Shee 4,217 24.65 N/A
Majority 8,673 50.70 N/A
Turnout 24,439 70.00 N/A
Sinn Féin gain from Irish Parliamentary Swing N/A


  • The Parliaments of England by Henry Stooks Smith (1st edition published in three volumes 1844–50), 2nd edition edited (in one volume) by F.W.S. Craig (Political Reference Publications 1973)
  • Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801–1922, edited by B.M. Walker (Royal Irish Academy 1978)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume II 1886–1918, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees (The Harvester Press 1978)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume III 1919–1945, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees (The Harvester Press 1979)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]