Joseph McGuinness

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Joseph McGuiness

McGuinness campaign car in Main St Longford, 1917. Centre, with white trim around her hat, is Joseph McGuinness' wife, née Katherine Farrell. With her are three of their nieces.

Joseph P. McGuinness (10 April 1875 – 31 May 1922) was an Irish Sinn Féin politician and Member of Parliament (MP) from 1917 until his death in 1922. He is known for winning the South Longford by-election in 1917[1] while serving a prison sentence for his role in the Easter Rising.[2] Michael Collins worked on his by-election campaign.

Political career[edit]

McGuinness, as a member of the Irish Volunteers, took part in fighting in the Four Courts during the Easter Rising in 1916. According to some reports, he was second-in-command in the Four Courts. After the defeat of the uprising, McGuinness was sentenced to ten years' penal servitude (later reduced to three), and was transferred to HM Prison Lewes with other fighters.[3][2]

While in prison, McGuinness was selected against his will as Sinn Féin candidate for the Longford South by-election in May 1917. The prisoners in Lewes were opposed to standing a candidate when the Irish Parliamentary Party looked likely to win, so McGuinness declined to stand. However, Collins had him nominated anyway, and McGuiness went on to win by 37 votes after a recount. His election slogan was "Put him in to get him out!"

He was re-elected as MP for the new Longford constituency at the 1918 general election. In common with the other Sinn Féin MPs, he did not take his seat in the British House of Commons, sitting instead as a TD in the revolutionary First Dáil, where he was appointed as substitute Director of Trade and Commerce on 27 October 1919.

Firing party at McGuinness's funeral in Glasnevin Cemetery.

He was re-elected unopposed at the 1921 general election in the new Longford–Westmeath constituency;[4] he died before the 1922 general election. He voted in favour of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in January 1922.

At a subsequent election, his seat was taken by his brother Francis McGuinness.


  1. ^ "Mr. Joseph McGuinness". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b "All changed utterly after South Longford by-election - 100 years ago today". The Irish Independent. 9 May 2017.
  3. ^ Coleman, Marie. "McGuinness, Joseph" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Joseph McGuinness". Retrieved 5 March 2012.