Patrick O'Dowd

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Patrick O'Dowd
Teachta Dála
In office
9 June 1927 – 25 August 1927
In office
15 September 1927 – 29 January 1932
In office
24 January 1933 – 14 June 1937
Personal details
Patrick Joseph O'Dowd

(1892-03-00)March , 1892
Graffoge, Bumlin, County Roscommon, Ireland
Died11 June 1968(1968-06-11) (aged 76)
Charleville Road, Cabra, Dublin, Ireland
Cause of deathHeart attack
Resting placeDeans Grange Cemetery, Dublin, Ireland
Political partyFianna Fáil, Independent politician
Spouse(s)Eva Igoe (b. 1900; d. 1947), Kathleen Donohue
  • Padraig
  • Eithne
  • Seamus
  • Nuala
  • Eamon
  • Grainne
  • James O'Dowd (b. 1856; d. 1926)
  • Honoria (Nora) Shanagher (b. 1869; d. 1952)
Alma mater

Patrick Joseph O'Dowd (1892 - 1968) was an Irish politician and medical practitioner. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) for the Roscommon constituency at the June 1927 general election.[1] He was re-elected at the September 1927 general election but lost his seat at the 1932 general election.[2] He was elected again at the 1933 general election but again lost his seat at the 1937 general election.

Patrick O'Dowd was born in 1892 at Graffoge, Roscommon as the second son of James O'Dowd and Honoria (Nora) Shanagher. His parents were both teachers at the local national school (Ireland) where he began his education. He then attended Summerhill College in Sligo. He is said to have been the first registrant of the National University of Ireland, having arrived from the country a day before it was due to open, in order to study medicine at University College Dublin. Upon graduation as a physician, he worked for the Irish Dispensary System, a public health system that had been established in Ireland in the 1850s under the Irish Poor Laws. His first clinic was the dispensary in Elphin, County Roscommon. After the Second World War, he moved to become the doctor at a dispensary in Dublin.

Patrick O'Dowd is listed in the Census of Ireland, 1911 as being a speaker of Irish and English languages.[3] His first wife, Evangela (Eva) Igoe, had strong Irish republicanism sympathies and was a member of Cumman na mBan. Dr O'Dowd was a medical officer with the Irish Republican Army during the Irish War of Independence. Patrick and Eva O'Dowd would take their annual family holiday in a Gaeltacht in County Kerry in order to maintain the family's ability to speak Gaeilge.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Patrick O'Dowd stood for election and sat as a member of parliament in the 5th Dail, 6th Dail and 8th Dail. In 1937, he resigned from the Fianna Fáil political party over a disagreement with its leader Éamon de Valera. He stood as an independent politician in the 1937 Irish General Election but lost his seat, despite winning the most first preference votes.[4] O'Dowd spoke frequently in the Dail, mainly on issues of public health, Roscommon land allocation, and affairs of his constituents. In 1927, he supported William Redmond who proposed to the Government that a commission be established to investigate and report on the circumstances of the British ex-Servicemen in the Irish Free State because of concerns regarding "alleged discrimination against them in regard to employment on public works or in regard to their general rights".[5] Major Bryan Cooper proposed a hostile amendment that the British Legion should be responsible for the veterans. O'Dowd said that veterans of the British Army "men are Irish citizens. They may have taken the wrong step in their participation in the Great War—that is a matter of dispute—but these men joined the I.R.A. in pre-Truce days with a national outlook common to the whole country, and these men will not seek help or any favour through the British Legion. I could refer Deputy Cooper to many hundreds throughout the country. This House should not ask these men to remain in want and dire distress because they will not submit to such a display of Imperialism once again." W. T. Cosgrave dismissed Redmond as being naive to think a commission could deal with "100,000 men with grievances" and O'Dowd as having "all the defects of a deputy not a lawyer". At the conclusion of the debate, the amendment was defeated and the motion was carried. Cosgrave offered "to accept a "No Confidence" motion in respect of that division, and I am prepared to give Government time to-morrow or the next day."[6]

Patrick O'Dowd played contract bridge representing Ireland on several occasions at the "Home Internationals" in the 1940s and 1950s. Eva O'Dowd died of breast cancer in 1947. Patrick O'Dowd married Kathleen Donohue of Cavan in 1950. He died of a heart attack in 1968.


  1. ^ "Mr. Patrick O'Dowd". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  2. ^ "Patrick O'Dowd". Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  3. ^ "O'Dowd, Bumlin". Census of Ireland 1911. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Dr. Patrick Joseph O'Dowd". Tithe an Oireachtas. Retrieved 12 Feb 2018.
  5. ^ "Motion by Deputy Redmond (16 Nov 1927)". Dail Debates. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Motion by Deputy Redmond (16 Nov 1927)". Dail Debates. Retrieved 12 August 2018.