He was first elected in the 1921 general election for Dublin North–West, and after that constituency's abolition for the 1923 general election he was re-elected for the new Dublin South constituency. Cosgrave's death only eight weeks after winning his seat in the 4th Dáil triggered a by-election for his seat. It was held on 12 March 1924 and won by the Cumann na nGaedheal candidate, James O'Mara.
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