He was first elected as the Irish Parliamentary Party MP for the South Down constituency at the 19 February 1902 by-election, and was again re-elected at the 1906, January 1910, December 1910 and 1918 general elections, and served until 1922 as member of the Nationalist Party. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the British Labour Party in Sunderland at the 1924 UK general election, and was also unsuccessful at the 1925 Irish Seanad election.
In 1913 he presented the Jeremiah MacVeagh Cup to the Down County GAA Board. The Cup has been presented to the winners of the annual Down Senior Hurling Championship ever since.
He died in a Dublin nursing home in 1932, following a series of heart attacks, and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.
- The Letters of Arnold Stephenson Rowntree to Mary Katherine Rowntree by Arnold Stephenson Rowntree, Ian Packer, Royal Historical Society (Great Britain), Camden Society (Great Britain), p. 29.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Jeremiah McVeagh
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
John Francis Small
|Member of Parliament for South Down
1902 – 1922
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