Biography of O'Kelly, Sean Thomas (Seán Tomás Ó Ceallaigh) - Archontology
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O'Kelly, Sean Thomas (Seán Tomás Ó Ceallaigh)

Seán Tomás Ó Ceallaigh = Sean Thomas O'Kelly

b. 25 Aug 1882, Dublin
d. 23 Nov 1966, Dublin

Title: Uachtarán na hÉireann = President of Ireland
Term: 25 Jun 1945 - 24 Jun 1952
Chronology: 14 Jun 1945, elected President by direct vote
25 Jun 1945, sworn in, St Patrick's Hall, Dublin Castle, Dublin
24 Jun 1952, term expired
Term: 25 Jun 1952 - 24 Jun 1959
Chronology: 16 May 1952, declared to have been elected by a certificate issued by the Presidential Returning Officer (unopposed nomination)
25 Jun 1952, sworn in, St Patrick's Hall, Dublin Castle, Dublin
24 Jun 1959, term expired

Sean T. O'Kelly was educated at O'Connell Christian Brothers School, Dublin. In 1898 he joined the Gaelic League and then became active in the Celtic Literary Society, and recruited for the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), which he had also joined. He was a founder-member of Sinn Féin in 1905 and the following year was elected to Dublin Corporation (1906-1924). He became manager of "An Claidheamh Soluis", the organ of the Gaelic League, and in 1915 was elected general secretary. In Easter week 1916 he was staff captain to Patrick Pearse. Although he avoided court-martial he was arrested and interned in England. In the General Election of 1918 he was returned as Sinn Féin MP for the College Green division of Dublin and represented Dublin until 1945. The first Dáil Éireann elected O'Kelly its Chairman (Ceann Comhairle) (22 Jan 1919 - 16 Aug 1921). In an endeavor to secure international recognition, Dáil accredited him as envoy of the Republican government to the Peace Conference at Paris and to Rome and Washington. His mission was not formally successful, but nevertheless he attracted international attention to the struggle for independence. He opposed the Treaty of 1921 and was one of the founders of Fianna Fáil in 1926. When the party came into power in 1932 he became Vice-President of the Executive Council (1932-1937) and Minister for Local Government and Public Health (1932-1939). When the Constitution of 1937 came into effect O'Kelly became Deputy Prime Minister (Tánaiste) (1937-1945). In 1939 he was appointed Minister for Finance (1939-1945) and held that post until his election as President in 1945. In 1952 O'Kelly was re-elected without opposition for a second term. He made state visits to Italy and France and on St. Patrick's Day 1959 addressed a joint session of the US Congress in Washington. Biography source: [1]

Candidate First count (See note) Second count (See note)
Sean T O'Kelly 537,965 565,165 (incl. 27,200 McCartan's votes)
Seán MacEoin 335,539 453,425 (incl. 117,886 McCartan's votes)
Patrick McCartan 212,834
total valid poll 1,086,338
spoiled votes 50,287
quota 543,170
Information source: [2]

[1] "A Dictionary of Irish Biography", ed. by Henry Boylan (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1998).
[2] Toghcháin Uachtaráin 1938-1997 Presidential Elections. Dublin: Stationery Office, September 2000.
Image: Official portrait dated 14 July 1945, of President Séan T. Ó Ceallaigh, for display in Irish diplomatic and consular offices abroad. (National Archives of Ireland 2004, Office of the Secretary to the President, PRES 1/P 1040)