Philip Clarke (politician)

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Philip Christopher Clarke (born 1933, date of death unknown[1]) was an Irish Republican Army member and politician.

Early life[edit]

Clarke was born in Dublin. A civil servant and an evening student at University College Dublin, Clarke joined the Irish Republican Army and was captured after the IRA raided a British Army barracks in Omagh, County Tyrone. He was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment.[2]

Political career[edit]

In the 1955 UK General Election, Clarke was elected MP for the Fermanagh and South Tyrone constituency, winning 30,529 votes, and becoming the youngest MP at the time. As Clarke was in prison at the time of his election, serving ten years for a treason felony, his opponent, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Grosvenor, lodged a petition to have him unseated.[3]

The case appeared before the Northern Ireland High Court in August 1955. On 2 September, the court ruled that Clarke was ineligible for election and his Unionist opponent was declared duly elected.[4]

Subsequent life[edit]

When the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland issued an explicit condemnation of IRA violence in January 1956, Clarke severed his connections with the IRA. He petitioned for remission of his sentence in 1958, and was released from jail on 18 December 1958 after the Governor of Northern Ireland Lord Wakehurst exercised his prerogative of mercy.[5]

When the House of Commons Library updated its list of previous Members of Parliament in 2010, Clarke was listed as having died, although the date of his death was not recorded.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 'Members 1979-2010', House of Commons Library Research Paper 10/33, p. 197.
  2. ^ "8 Men Sentenced For Barracks Raid", The Times, 16 December 1954, p. 5.
  3. ^ "Move to unseat M.P.", The Times, 7 June 1955, p. 3.
  4. ^ "Imprisoned Man Not An M.P.", The Times, 3 September 1955, p. 4.
  5. ^ "Barracks Raid Men Freed", The Times, 19 December 1958, p. 5.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Cahir Healy
Member of Parliament for Fermanagh and South Tyrone
Succeeded by
Robert Grosvenor
Preceded by
John Woollam
Baby of the House
Succeeded by
Peter Kirk