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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Members of the Fourth Dáil - Séan Francis Gibbons

Séan Francis Gibbons

Séan Francis Gibbons (31 May 1883 – 19 April 1952) was an Irish politician who sat as Cumann na nGaedhael TD in the 1920s and as a Fianna Fáil TD in the 1930s. He later became a Senator, and was Cathaoirleach (chairperson) of the Seanad for five years.

Gibbons was elected to Dáil Éireann on his first attempt, as a Cumann na nGaedhael candidate in the Carlow–Kilkenny constituency at the 1923 general election. However, he was not an active participant in proceedings because his health was poor, requiring him to leave the country at one point.

He left Cumann na nGaedhael to join the Farmers' Party and resigned his seat in the 4th Dáil on 30 October 1924, only 14 months after his election. The by-election for his seat was held on 11 March 1925 and won by Cumann na nGaedhael's Thomas Bolger.

After the collapse of the Farmers' Party in 1927, Gibbons joined Fianna Fáil, and stood as a Fianna Fáil candidate in Carlow–Kilkenny at the 1932 general election, winning one of his party's fifteen new seats in the 7th Dáil. He was returned at the 1933 election, but after the constituency was divided under the Electoral (Revision of Constituencies) Act 1935, he lost his seat at the 1937 general election in the new Kilkenny constituency.

He then stood as a Fianna Fáil candidate for election to Seanad Éireann on the Agricultural Panel, winning a seat in the 2nd Seanad and becoming Cathaoirleach (chairperson). He remained as Cathoirleach in the 3rd Seanad, holding the office until 1944, when was re-elected to the 4th Seanad. He did not sit in the 5th Seanad, but was re-elected by the Agricultural Panel to the 6th Seanad, from 1948–1951.

He died on 19 April 1952, aged 68. Five years later, his nephew Jim Gibbons was elected as a Fianna Fáil TD in the restored Carlow–Kilkenny constituency, where Jim's son Martin was a Progressive Democrat TDs from 1987–1989. Another of Jim's son, Jim, Jr was a Progressive Democrat Senator.

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