WT Cosgrave

William T. Cosgrave (1880-1965), politician and president of the executive council of the Irish Free State; was born at James Street, Dublin on 5 June 1880. He was educated at Francis Street Christian Brothers School and the O’Brien Institute. He followed his father Thomas, a licensed vintner, into the pub trade. In his youth he was a member of Arthur Griffith’s Sinn Féin nationalist movement. He attended the first Sinn Féin convention in the Rotunda in Dublin in 1905. He was elected to Dublin Corporation in 1909. He joined the Irish Volunteers on their formation in 1913. During the 1916 Rising he served at the South Dublin Union under Eamonn Ceannt. Cosgrave was sentenced to death for his part in the insurrection but this was later reduced to life imprisonment. He was interned at Frongoch in Wales until January 1917, when he was released under a general amnesty. He was elected Sinn Fein MP for Kilkenny North at a by-election in August 1917, and was re-elected in the 1918 general election. Cosgrave became one of the honourary treasurers of Sinn Féin in 1917. He sat in the first Dáil Eireann which met on 2 April 1919 and was a minister for local government from April 1919 to September 1922. He married Louise, daughter of Alderman Flanagan in 1919; they had two sons. Cosgrave was himself returned as an alderman in 1920.