Michael Collins (Irish leader)
Michael Collins was an Irish revolutionary and politician, a leading figure in the early-20th-century Irish struggle for independence. He was Chairman of the Provisional Government of the Irish Free State from January 1922 until his assassination in August 1922. Collins was born in Woodfield, County Cork, the youngest of eight children, his family had republican connections reaching back to the 1798 rebellion, he moved to London in 1906. He was a member of the London GAA, through which he became associated with the Irish Republican Brotherhood and the Gaelic League, he fought in the Easter Rising. He was subsequently imprisoned in the Frongoch internment camp as a prisoner of war, but was released in December 1916. Collins rose through the ranks of the Irish Volunteers and Sinn Féin after his release from Frongoch, he became a Teachta Dála for South Cork in 1918, was appointed Minister for Finance in the First Dáil. He was present when the Dáil convened on 21 January 1919 and declared the independence of the Irish Republic.
In the ensuing War of Independence, he was Director of Organisation and Adjutant General for the Irish Volunteers, Director of Intelligence of the Irish Republican Army. He gained fame as a guerrilla warfare strategist and directing many successful attacks on British forces, such as the assassination of key British intelligence agents in November 1920. After the July 1921 ceasefire and Arthur Griffith were sent to London by Éamon de Valera to negotiate peace terms; the resulting Anglo-Irish Treaty established the Irish Free State but depended on an Oath of Allegiance to the Crown, a condition that de Valera and other republican leaders could not reconcile with. Collins viewed the Treaty as offering "the freedom to achieve freedom", persuaded a majority in the Dáil to ratify the Treaty. A provisional government was formed under his chairmanship in early 1922 but was soon disrupted by the Irish Civil War, in which Collins was commander-in-chief of the National Army, he was shot and killed in an ambush by anti-Treaty forces on 22 August 1922.
Collins was born in Woodfield, Hugh's Cross, near Clonakilty County Cork, on 16 October 1890, the third son and youngest of eight children. His father, Michael John, was a farmer and amateur mathematician, a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood movement; the elder Collins was 60 years old when he married Mary Anne O'Brien 23, in 1876. The marriage was happy, they brought up eight children on a 90-acre farm called Woodfield, which the Collins family had held as tenants for several generations. Michael was six years old, he was a bright and precocious child with a fiery temper and a passionate feeling of Irish patriotism. He named a local blacksmith, James Santry, his headmaster at Lisavaird National School, Denis Lyons, as the first nationalists to inspire his "pride of Irishness". Lyons was a member of the IRB, while Santry's family had participated in, forged arms for, the rebellions of 1798, 1848 and 1867. There are a number of anecdotal explanations for the origin of his nickname "The Big Fellow".
His family claim that he was called this as a child, as a term of endearment for an adventitious and bold youngest brother. The nickname was established by his teens, long before he became as a military leader. At the age of thirteen he attended Clonakilty National School. During the week he stayed with his sister Margaret Collins-O'Driscoll and her husband Patrick O'Driscoll, while at weekends he returned to the family farm. Patrick O'Driscoll founded The West Cork People and Collins helped out with general reporting and preparing the issues of the newspaper. Leaving school at fifteen, Collins took the British Civil Service examination in Cork in February 1906 and moved to the home of his sister Hannie in London, where he became a boy clerk in the Post Office Savings Bank at Blythe House. In 1910 he became a messenger at a London firm of stockbrokers and Company. While living in London he studied law at King's College London, he joined the London GAA and, through this, the IRB. Sam Maguire, a republican from Dunmanway, County Cork, introduced the 19-year-old Collins to the IRB.
In 1915 he moved to work in the Guaranty Trust Company of New York where he remained until his return to Ireland the following year joining part-time Craig Gardiner & Co, a firm of accountants in Dawson Street, Dublin. The struggle for Home Rule, along with labour unrest, had led to the formation in 1913 of two major nationalist paramilitary groups who launched the Easter Rising: the Irish Citizen Army was established by James Connolly, James Larkin and his Irish Transport and General Workers Union to protect strikers from the Dublin Metropolitan Police during the 1913 Dublin Lockout; the Irish Volunteers were created in the same year by nationalists in response to the formation of the Ulster Volunteers, an Ulster loyalist body pledged to oppose Home Rule by force. An organiser of considerable intelligence, Collins had become respected in the IRB; this led to his appointment as financial advisor to Count Plunkett, father of one of the Easter Rising's organisers, Joseph Plunkett. Collins took part in preparing arms and drilling troops for the insurrection.
The Rising was Collins' first appearance in national events. When it commenced on Easter Monday 1916, Collins served as Joseph Plunkett's aide-de-camp at the rebellion's headquarters in the General Post Office in Dublin. There he fought alongside Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, other members of the Rising leadership; the Rising was put down after s
Good Friday Agreement
The Good Friday Agreement or Belfast Agreement was a major political development in the Northern Ireland peace process of the 1990s. Northern Ireland's present devolved system of government is based on the agreement; the agreement created a number of institutions between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. The agreement is made up of two inter-related documents, both agreed in Belfast on Good Friday, 10 April 1998: a multi-party agreement by most of Northern Ireland's political parties; the agreement set out a complex series of provisions relating to a number of areas including: The status and system of government of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom. The relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland; the relationship between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Issues relating to sovereignty and cultural rights, decommissioning of weapons, demilitarisation and policing were central to the agreement.
The agreement was approved by voters across the island of Ireland in two referendums held on 22 May 1998. In Northern Ireland, voters were asked in the 1998 Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement referendum whether they supported the multi-party agreement. In the Republic of Ireland, voters were asked whether they would allow the state to sign the agreement and allow necessary constitutional changes to facilitate it; the people of both jurisdictions needed to approve the agreement. The British–Irish Agreement came into force on 2 December 1999; the Democratic Unionist Party was the only major political group in Northern Ireland to oppose the Good Friday Agreement. The agreement was made between the British and Irish governments and eight political parties or groupings from Northern Ireland: the Ulster Unionist Party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party, Sinn Féin, the Alliance Party, the Progressive Unionist Party, the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition, the Ulster Democratic Party and Labour.
The agreement comprises two elements: the legal agreement between the two governments, signed by the leaders of the two governments. The former text has just four articles. Technically, this scheduled agreement can be distinguished as the Multi-Party Agreement, as opposed to the Belfast Agreement itself; the vague wording of some of the provisions, described as "constructive ambiguity", helped ensure acceptance of the agreement and served to postpone debate on some of the more contentious issues. Most notably these included paramilitary decommissioning, police reform and the normalisation of Northern Ireland; the agreement acknowledged: that the majority of the people of Northern Ireland wished to remain a part of the United Kingdom. Both of these views were acknowledged as being legitimate. For the first time, the Irish government accepted in a binding international agreement that Northern Ireland was part of the United Kingdom; the Irish Constitution was amended to implicitly recognise Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom's sovereign territory, conditional upon the consent for a united Ireland from majorities of the people in both jurisdictions on the island.
On the other hand, the language of the agreement reflects a switch in the United Kingdom's statutory emphasis from one for the union to one for a united Ireland. The agreement thus left the issue of future sovereignty over Northern Ireland open-ended; the agreement reached was that Northern Ireland was part of the United Kingdom, would remain so until a majority of the people both of Northern Ireland and of the Republic of Ireland wished otherwise. Should that happen the British and Irish governments are under "a binding obligation" to implement that choice. Irrespective of Northern Ireland's constitutional status within the United Kingdom, or part of a united Ireland, the right of "the people of Northern Ireland" to "identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both" was recognised. By the words "people of Northern Ireland" the Agreement meant "all persons born in Northern Ireland and having, at the time of their birth, at least one parent, a British citizen, an Irish citizen or is otherwise entitled to reside in Northern Ireland without any restriction on their period of residence."The two governments agreed, irrespective of the position of Northern Ireland: the power of the sovereign government with jurisdiction there shall be exercised with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people in the diversity of their identities and traditions and shall be founded on the principles of full respect for, equality of, political, economic and cultural rights, of freedom from discrimination for all citizens, of parity of esteem and of just and equal treatment for the identity and aspirations of both communities.
As part of the agreement, the British parliament repealed the Government of Ireland Act 1920 and the people of the Republic of Ireland amended Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution o
Labour Party (Ireland)
The Labour Party is a social-democratic political party in the Republic of Ireland. Founded in 1912 in Clonmel, County Tipperary, by James Larkin, James Connolly, William X. O'Brien as the political wing of the Irish Trades Union Congress, it describes itself as a "democratic socialist party" in its constitution. Labour continues to be the political arm of the Irish trade union and labour movement and seeks to represent workers interests in the Dáil and on a local level. Unlike the other main Irish political parties, Labour did not arise as a faction of the original Sinn Féin party; the party has served as a partner in coalition governments on seven occasions since its formation: six times in coalition either with Fine Gael alone or with Fine Gael and other smaller parties, once with Fianna Fáil. This gives Labour a cumulative total of nineteen years served as part of a government, the second-longest total of any party in the Republic of Ireland after Fianna Fáil; the current party leader is Brendan Howlin.
It is the fourth-largest party in Dáil Éireann, with seven seats. In November 2018, Labour announced that they were considering running candidates again in Northern Ireland, in response to a potential merger between Fianna Fáil and the Social Democratic and Labour Party, with whom Labour have long had fraternal links; the last time Labour had contested elections in the region was in 1973, shortly after the SDLP's formation. The Labour Party is a member of the Progressive Alliance, Socialist International, Party of European Socialists. James Connolly, James Larkin and William X. O'Brien established the Irish Labour Party in 1912, as the political wing of the Irish Trade Union Congress; this party was to represent the workers in the expected Dublin Parliament under the Third Home Rule Act 1914. However, after the defeat of the trade unions in the Dublin Lockout of 1913 the labour movement was weakened; the Irish Citizen Army, formed during the 1913 Lockout, was informally the military wing of the Labour Movement.
The ICA took part in the 1916 Rising. Councillor Richard O'Carroll, a Labour Party member of Dublin Corporation, was the only elected representative to be killed during the Easter Rising. O'Carroll was shot and died several days on 5 May 1916; the ICA was revived during Peadar O'Donnell's Republican Congress but after the 1935 split in the Congress most ICA members joined the Labour Party. The British Labour Party had organised in Ireland, but in 1913 the Labour NEC agreed that the Irish Labour Party would have organising rights over the entirety of Ireland. A group of trade unionists in Belfast objected and the Belfast Labour Party, which became the nucleus of the Northern Ireland Labour Party, remained outside the new Irish party. In Larkin's absence, William O'Brien became the dominant figure in the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union and wielded considerable influence in the Labour Party. O'Brien dominated the Irish Trade Union Congress; the Labour Party, led by Thomas Johnson from 1917, as successor to such organisations as D. D. Sheehan's Irish Land and Labour Association, declined to contest the 1918 general election, in order to allow the election to take the form of a plebiscite on Ireland's constitutional status.
It refrained from contesting the 1921 elections. As a result, the party was left outside Dáil Éireann during the vital years of the independence struggle, though Johnson sat in the First Dáil; the Anglo-Irish Treaty divided the Labour Party. Some members sided with the Irregulars in the Irish Civil War that followed. O'Brien and Johnson encouraged its members to support the Treaty. In the 1922 general election the party won 17 seats. However, there were a number of a loss in support for the party. In the 1923 general election the Labour Party only won 14 seats. From 1922 until Fianna Fáil TDs took their seats in 1927, the Labour Party was the major opposition party in the Dáil. Labour attacked the lack of social reform by the Cumann na nGaedheal government. Larkin returned to Ireland in 1923, he hoped to resume the leadership role he had left, but O'Brien resisted him. Larkin sided with the more radical elements of the party, in September that year he established the Irish Worker League. In 1932, the Labour Party supported Éamon de Valera's first Fianna Fáil government, which had proposed a programme of social reform with which the party was in sympathy.
It appeared for a time during the 1940s that the Labour Party would replace Fine Gael as the main opposition party. In the 1943 general election the party won 17 seats, its best result since 1927; the party was conservative compared to similar European parties, its leaders from 1932 to 1977 were members of the Knights of Saint Columbanus. The Larkin-O'Brien feud still continued, worsened over time. In the 1940s the hatred caused the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. O'Brien left with six TDs in 1944, founding the National Labour Party, whose leader was James Everett. O'Brien withdrew ITGWU from the Irish Trade Unions Congress and set up his own congress; the split damaged the Labour movement in the 1944 general election. It was only after Larkin's death in 1947. After the 1948 general election National Labour had five TDs – Everett, Dan Spri
An Garda Síochána, more referred to as the Gardaí or "the Guards", is the police service of the Republic of Ireland. The service is headed by the Garda Commissioner, appointed by the Irish Government, its headquarters are in Dublin's Phoenix Park. Since the formation of the Garda Síochána in 1923, it has been a predominantly unarmed force, more than three-quarters of the force do not carry firearms; as of 31 July 2018, the police service had 2,310 civilian staff. Operationally, the Garda Síochána is organised into six geographical regions: the Eastern, Southern, South-Eastern and Dublin Metropolitan Regions. In addition to its crime detection and prevention roles, road safety enforcement duties, community policing remit, the police service has some diplomatic and witness protection responsibilities and border control functions; the service was named the Civic Guard in English, but in 1923 it became An Garda Síochána in both English and Irish. This is translated as "the Guardian of the Peace". Garda Síochána na hÉireann appears on its logo but is used elsewhere.
The full official title of the police service is used in speech. How it is referred to depends on the register being used, it is variously known as An Garda Síochána. Although Garda is singular, in these terms it is used like police. An individual officer is called a garda, or, informally, a "guard". A police station is called a Garda station. Garda is the name of the lowest rank within the force. "Guard" is the most common form of address used by members of the public speaking to a garda on duty. A female officer was once referred to as a bangharda; this term was abolished in 1990, but is still used colloquially in place of the now gender-neutral garda. The service is headed by the Garda Commissioner, whose immediate subordinates are two Deputy Commissioners – in charge of "Policing and Security" and "Governance and Strategy" – and a Chief Administrative Officer with responsibility for resource management. There is an Assistant Commissioner for each of the six geographical Regions, along with a number dealing with other national support functions.
The six geographical Garda Regions, each overseen by an Assistant Commissioner, are: Dublin Metropolitan Region Eastern Northern Southern South-Eastern WesternAt an equivalent or near-equivalent level to the Assistant Commissioners are the positions of Chief Medical Officer, Executive Director of Information and Communications Technology, Executive Director of Finance. Directly subordinate to the Assistant Commissioners are 40 Chief Superintendents, about half of whom supervise what are called Divisions; each Division contains a number of Districts, each commanded by a Superintendent assisted by a team of Inspectors. Each District contains a number of Subdistricts, which are commanded by Sergeants; each Subdistrict contains only one Garda station. A different number of Gardaí are based at each station depending on its importance. Most of these stations employ the basic rank of Garda, referred to as the rank of Guard until 1972; the most junior members of the service are students, whose duties can vary depending on their training progress.
They are assigned clerical duties as part of their extracurricular studies. The Garda organisation has 2,000 non-officer support staff encompassing a range of areas such as human resources, occupational health services and procurement, internal audit, IT and telecommunications and fleet management, scenes-of-crime support and analysis, training and general administration; the figure includes industrial staff such as traffic wardens and cleaners. It is ongoing government policy to bring the level of non-officer support in the organisation up to international standards, allowing more officers to undertake core operational duties; the Garda Síochána Act 2005 provided for the establishment of a Garda Reserve to assist the force in performing its functions, supplement the work of members of the Garda Síochána. The intent of the Garda Reserve is "to be a source of local strength and knowledge". Reserve members are to carry out duties defined by the Garda Commissioner and sanctioned by the Minister for Justice and Equality.
With reduced training of 128 hours, these duties and powers must be executed under the supervision of regular members of the Service. The first batch of 36 Reserve Gardaí graduated on 15 December 2006 at the Garda College, in Templemore; as of October 2016, there were 789 Garda Reserve members with further training scheduled for 2017. Special Crime Operations consists of: Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation Criminal Assets Bureau Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau Garda National Economic Crime Bureau Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau Garda National Immigration Bureau Garda National Protective Services Bureau Technical Bureau Special Tactics & Operations Command: Emergency Response Unit Armed Support Units Operational Support Services that consists of: Air Support Unit Water Unit Dog Uni
Kevin Christopher O'Higgins was an Irish politician who served as Vice-President of the Executive Council and Minister for Justice from 1922 to 1927, Minister for External Affairs from June 1927 to July 1927 and Minister for Economic Affairs from January 1922 to September 1922. He served as a Teachta Dála from 1921 to 1927, he was a Member of Parliament for Queen's County from 1918 to 1921. He was part of early nationalist Sinn Féin, before going on to become a prominent member of Cumann na nGaedheal. In his capacity as Minister for Justice, O'Higgins established the Garda Síochána police force, his brother Thomas and nephews Tom and Michael were elected TDs at various stages. Along with Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins and Eoin O'Duffy, O'Higgins is an important figure in Irish nationalist historiography, representing a more "conservative revolutionary" position when contrasted with republicanism. After having a role in the Irish War of Independence, he went on to defend the nascent Irish Free State, as part of the pro-Treaty side in the Irish Civil War.
During this time he signed the execution orders of seventy-seven political prisoners. He was assassinated in retaliation by an IRA unit in Booterstown, County Dublin. Kevin O'Higgins was born in Stradbally, County Laois, one of sixteen children of Dr. Thomas Higgins and Anne Sullivan, daughter of the Nationalist politician Timothy Daniel Sullivan, his aunt was married to the Nationalist MP Tim Healy. He was educated at the Jesuit-run Clongowes Wood College. O'Higgins was moved to Knockbeg College, St. Marys Christian Brother School, Portlaoise. With a view to becoming a priest he went to Maynooth. There he broke the non-smoking rules, was removed to Carlow Seminary, he attended University College Dublin. O'Higgins joined the Irish Volunteers in 1915, he was efficient, had a forceful personality and was soon appointed captain of Stradbally company, Carlow brigade. He joined Sinn Féin, but was soon arrested and imprisoned in 1918. While he was in prison he became MP for Queen's County. In 1919, the First Dáil elected its "Aireacht" under the shadow of the Irish War of Independence.
O'Higgins was appointed as the Assistant Minister for Local Government under W. T. Cosgrave; when Cosgrave was arrested in 1920, O'Higgins took the lead as head of the Ministry. Like other writers on Sinn Féin, O'Higgins believed; when he wrote on disillusionment he articulated this fear: the whole history of the world is the triumph of mind over matter. We are backing our Idea against armoured cars. Sinn Féin split in 1922 over the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. In the debate that took place in the Dáil on the Treaty, O'Higgins outlined the reasons for his support thus: Last October the Minister of Local Government W. T. Cosgrave and myself came deliberately to the decision that we would not recommend any settlement involving allegiance to the King of England; that is true, but I am not ashamed to plead guilty to the fact that I consider political realities and the consequence of my vote... I would have gone back to war rather than recommend a settlement involving allegiance if the Treaty had not been signed.
But I face the political situation and realise that some of the biggest personalities in our movement... have considered this is the last ounce could be got from England, who, knowing the situation better than I do, attached their names to that document. When running for election in 1922, he told a crowd: I have not abandoned any political aspirations to which I have given expression in the past, but in the existing circumstances I advise the people to trust to evolution rather than revolution for their attainment, and was elected Teachta Dála for Leix–Offaly becoming Minister for Justice and External Affairs in the Provisional Government. When the Irish Civil War broke out in June 1922, O'Higgins tried to restore law and order by introducing tough measures. Between 1922 and 1923, he confirmed the sentences of execution of seventy-seven republican prisoners of war, including Rory O'Connor, best man at his wedding. O'Higgins and his colleagues did not view them as prisoners of war, but rather as criminals.
In reprisal for O'Higgins' role in the executions of captured republicans, the Anti-Treaty IRA murdered his father and burned his family home in Stradbally, County Laois. O'Higgins feared, as did many of his colleagues, that a prolonged civil conflict would give the British an excuse, in the eyes of the world, to reassert their control in the Free State, he was given a nominal posting to the Irish Army during the early stages of the war, which he described as "very short, though brilliant". General Richard Mulcahy was less impressed, recalling that "O'Higgins' personal presence in the Adjutant-General's office at that time was the personal presence of a person who didn't understand what was going on". In August 1922, following Collins' assassination, he was moved from the Army to ministry of Home Affairs. O'Higgins had formed a negative view of Cosgrave having worked under him at Local Government and was not happy when the latter was appointed President of the Executive Council. Of the alternatives Mulcahy had been seen as indecisive and too close to the Army, whereas O'Higgins himself was not perceptibly avowedly republican.
In the Government of the 3rd Dáil he would be classed, along with Desmond FitzGerald, as one of the “Donnybrook set"—more civilian-oriented and out of step with the rest on issues such as Irish language and militarism. O'Higgins had set up the Garda Síoc
Augustine Mary Moore Stack was an Irish revolutionary and politician. Stack was born in Ballymullen, County Kerry, to William Stack, an attorney's clerk, Anne O'Neill, he was educated at the Christian Brothers School in Tralee. At the age of fourteen he became a clerk in a solicitor's office. A gifted Gaelic footballer, he captained the Kerry team to All-Ireland victory in 1904, he served as President of the Kerry Gaelic Athletic Association County Board. He became politically active in 1908. In 1916, as commandant of the Kerry Brigade of the Irish Volunteers, he made preparations for the landing of arms by Roger Casement, he was made aware that Casement was being held in Tralee. He made no attempt to rescue him from Ballymullen Barracks as this would have been futile and foolhardy. Nor did he receive orders to this end. Stack was arrested and sentenced to death for his involvement in the Rising, this was commuted to penal servitude for life, he was released under general amnesty in June 1917 and was elected as an abstentionist Sinn Féin Member of Parliament for Kerry West in the 1918 Westminster election, becoming a member of the 1st Dáil.
He was automatically elected as an abstentionist member of the House of Commons of Southern Ireland and a member of the 2nd Dáil as a Sinn Féin Teachta Dála for Kerry–Limerick West at the 1921 elections. Stack, as part of his role as Minister for Home Affairs, is credited with the creation and administration of the Dáil Courts; these were courts run by IRA in parallel and opposition to the judicial system being run by the British government. The IRA/Sinn Féin was successful in both getting the civilian population of Ireland to use the courts and accept their rulings; the success of this initiative gave Sinn Féin a large boost in legitimacy and supported their goals in creating a "counter-state" within Ireland as part of their overarching goals in the War of Independence. He opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, took part in the subsequent Civil War, he was captured in 1923 and went on hunger strike for forty-one days before being released in July 1924. He was elected to the 3rd Dáil at the 1922 general election and subsequent elections as an Anti-Treaty Sinn Féin TD for the Kerry constituency.
When Éamon de Valera founded Fianna Fáil in 1926, Stack remained with Sinn Féin being re-elected to the Dáil at the June 1927 general election. He did not contest the September 1927 general election Stack's health never recovered after his hunger strike and he died in a Dublin hospital on 27 April 1929, aged 49. Austin Stack Park in his home town of Tralee, one of the Gaelic Athletic Association's stadiums, is named in his honour, as is the Austin Stacks Hurling and Gaelic football club. In 1925, he married Winifred Gordon, nee Cassidy, the widow of a Royal Irish Constabulary district inspector, Patrick Gordon
P. J. Ruttledge
Patrick Joseph Ruttledge was an Irish politician. Born in Ballina, County Mayo, he was educated at St Muredach's College there and St. Enda's Rathfarnham, run by Patrick Pearse. After studying at Trinity College, Dublin, he qualified as a solicitor in 1918 and built up a practice in his home town. During the Irish War of Independence he was active in the I. R. A, he was a close friend of Sean MacDermott. He took part in local politics, becoming chair of Ballina Urban Council from 1919 to 1932 and chair of Mayo County Council from 1922 to 1926, he was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1921 as a Sinn Féin Teachta Dála for Mayo West. He opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and joined the Republican forces and was injured during the Civil War, he was re-elected to the Dáil again in 1923 for Mayo North and in a further ten elections until 1951. In 1926 Ruttledge was a founder-member of Fianna Fáil, he joined the cabinet of Éamon de Valera in 1932, serving as Minister for Lands and Fisheries, Minister for Justice and Minister for Local Government and Public Health, resigning in 1941 due to ill health.
Ruttledge died in 1952 while still a member of the Dáil. He was described by the Irish Times as'a gentle and upright man', he married Helena and they had one son Ronan died three daughters. A horsebreeder, he was a member of the Turf Club and won the Irish Derby with Mondragon in 1939