Wednesday, 31 May 2017

East Clare By-election 1917 – Clare County Library display

Clare County Library has produced an 8 panel illustrated display to commemorate the East Clare by-election of 1917. With easy-to-read text and contemporary illustrations, this display gives an introduction to the election and its significance locally and nationally.

In July 1917 a significant event took place that not only changed the political landscape in Clare, but in the whole of Ireland as well. Following the death in France of Major Willie Redmond, Member of Parliament for East Clare, a by-election was held which was to have seismic consequences on many levels.

Eamon de Valera, fresh from his exploits in the Easter Rising, was nominated by the fledgling Sinn Féin party to contest the by-election in Clare. His opponent was Clareman, Patrick Lynch, of the Irish Parliamentary Party. The election sparked huge interest in Clare and beyond, and de Valera’s clear-cut victory was a massive show of support for Sinn Féin and the Republican movement nationally. It also did untold damage to the Irish Parliamentary Party.

De Valera’s election victory in 1917 catapulted him onto the national stage and heralded the start of a long and significant political career representing County Clare which continued until 1959 when he went on to serve two consecutive terms as President of Ireland.

The display will travel to a number of venues in the coming months.
1st June - 14th June, DeValera Public Library, Ennis
16th June – 28th June, Kilfinaghty Public Library, Sixmilebridge
30th June – 26th July, Scariff Public Library
28th July – 9th Aug, Killaloe Public Library
11th Aug – 30th Aug, Seán Lemass Public Library, Shannon

Contact your local branch library or visit

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