The Info List - Michael O'Flanagan

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Father Michael O'Flanagan (Irish: An tAthair Mícheál Ó Flannagáin) (1876 – 7 August 1942) was a Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
priest, Irish language scholar and Irish republican
Irish republican
active in Sinn Féin, of which he was President in 1933–35.


1 Early life and education 2 Early political activity 3 Treaty and after 4 References

Early life and education[edit] O'Flanagan was born at Kilkeeven, near Castlerea, County Roscommon, the elder son of Edward Flanagan, a smallholding farmer and Mary Crawley. O'Flanagan's parents were bilingual in Irish and English, engaged in Fenian
politics, and members of the Land League. Michael went to national school at Cloonboniffe and secondary school as a boarder at Summerhill College
Summerhill College
in Sligo, growing very tall. He matriculated in St Patrick's College, Maynooth
St Patrick's College, Maynooth
in 1894 and was a brilliant student, winning prizes in theology, scripture, canon law, Irish language, education, and natural science. In later years he filed patents for protective goggles and house insulation products. He was ordained for the Diocese of Elphin on 15 August 1900 and returned to Summerhill College
Summerhill College
as Professor of Irish until 1904. The position kindled his enthusiasm for the Gaelic revival. His organisation of the Sligo
Feis, a nationalist festival, attracted the attention of Sinn Féin.[1] Early political activity[edit] O'Flanagan supported rural development and Irish self-reliance. He was a skilled orator and started agitating for radical social and political change. In 1904 he was invited to speak on a tour of the United States by his bishop John Joseph Clancy and Horace Plunkett. He was sent to find investment for agricultural and industrial projects in the west of Ireland. In August 1910 he was elected to the executive of the Gaelic League
Gaelic League
with Fionan MacColuim. His clerical career was hampered by his outspokenness, but through Clancy's political sympathy he was appointed a curate in Roscommon
in 1912. The same year, Clancy died and his successor, Bernard Coyne was a conservative who deprecated O'Flanagan's perceived modernism. With his ecclesiastical prospects dim, O'Flanagan began to focus on his political activity. In 1913, the "advanced nationalist" Keating Branch took control of the Gaelic League
Gaelic League
and O'Flanagan was elected to the Standing Committee for two years. After the outbreak of the First World War, he was sent[by whom?] to neutral Italy to advocate Irish independence in Rome. On 1 August 1914, Coyne transferred him to Cliffoney
and Grange parish in north county Sligo. There he called for land redistribution to his parishioners, condemned the export of food from the area, and demanded a continuation of turbary rights. In newspaper pieces he contrasted Irish opinion-makers' outrage against Germany's contemporary treatment of Belgium with their indifference to England's ongoing treatment of Ireland.[2] In 1915 O'Flanagan was transferred to Cootehall, County Roscommon
County Roscommon
and was sanctioned by Coyne when accused of making a speech disloyal to the Crown: he had spoken against war-related taxes at the funeral of the Fenian
Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa
Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa
.[3] He also offended nationalists in a letter to the Freeman's Journal in June 1916 when he supported David Lloyd George's proposal to implement the 1914 Home Rule Act outside the six counties.[4] He felt partition was preferable to continued unionist. At the 1917 Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
convention, the Easter Rising
Easter Rising
veterans merged with Arthur Griffith's older organisation, with Éamon de Valera becoming president, and Griffith and O'Flanagan as vice presidents, for a three-year term. O'Flanagan proved a highly effective party manager. After the May 1918 "German Plot", Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
leaders were interned, but O'Flanagan was exempted as a priest. During the autumn general election campaign he toured the country talking to candidates and crowds. He was censored by the bishop but stated that it was essential to Ireland that East Cavan elect a Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
candidate. Nonetheless he became more queasy about the increasing level of violence deployed by the Irish Republican Army, and shrank from appearing with them in public. The Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
candidates abstained from Westminster and instead proclaimed an Irish Republic
Irish Republic
with Dáil Éireann as its parliament. At the First Dáil's inauguration in January 1919, O'Flanagan recite prayers and was appointed its chaplain. On the Republic's Land Executive he was responsible for propaganda and agriculture in County Roscommon. By December 1920, with de Valera in the United States, O'Flanagan was acting president of the party. Treaty and after[edit] In late January 1921, during the Irish War of Independence, O'Flanagan and judge James O'Connor met informally in London with Sir Edward Carson to discuss a peaceful solution to the conflict, but without success.[5] He also had talks with prime minister Lloyd George and found Dominion
status for the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
acceptable.[6] His critics accused him of waving a "white flag" but when the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in December 1921, O'Flanagan like his friend John J. O'Kelly was strongly opposed, and he left Ireland in fear of his life, arriving in the United States in November 1921.[contradictory] In 1923 he went to Australia and met the politically sympathetic Archbishop of Melbourne, Daniel Mannix, before being deported. He returned to Ireland from the United States in April 1925. In March 1926, the Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
ard fheis narrowly defeated de Valera's proposal to enter the Free State Oireachtas if the Oath of Allegiance were removed. O'Flanagan sided with the majority. De Valera left to found Fianna Fáil, which eclipsed Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
at the June 1927 election. O'Flanagan remained with the reduced Sinn Féin. In 1927 he was suspended from clerical duties because of his nationalist activities. Bishop Coyne finally died in July 1926, which lifted the ban on his ministry,[contradictory] though he was never promoted in the hierarchy. He expressed brotherhood with union leader James Larkin and some Marxist
sentiment but never joined any left-wing group, though he maintained his radical stance on social issues in the republican journal An Phoblacht.[4] O'Flanagan undertook academic work at this time, editing for publication in 1927–8 several volumes of the 1830s Ordnance Survey of Ireland notebooks. He was commissioned by the government to write a history of the Irish language
Irish language
for schools; five of the ten parts were published. He was elected president of Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
from October 1933 to 1935, when he was expelled from the party for taking a state job on the Placenames Commission
Placenames Commission
and participating in a Radio Éireann programme.[7] Brian O'Higgins
Brian O'Higgins
and Mary MacSwiney
Mary MacSwiney
resigned in protest at O'Flanagan's presidency.[clarification needed][6] In 1936 he took part in a re-enactment of the Dáil re-opening, interpreting it as a triumph,[vague] and he was expelled by the purists in his party;[contradictory] later re-joining. He sympathised with Italian fascists when they invaded Abyssinia because they were enemies of Britain. He was one of the few Catholic priests to defend the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War.[8] On 3 April 1939, he was restored to his faculties by a bishop Edward Doorly.[contradictory] In retirement he moved to Dublin, and acted as chaplain of two convents and a hospital. He died in a Dublin nursing home of stomach cancer on 7 August 1942. References[edit]

^ McGowan, Joe. In the Shadow of Benbulben. Aeolus. ISBN 0952133407. Retrieved 16 October 2007.  ^ The Spark[full citation needed] ^ The Leader, 1916.[full citation needed] ^ a b Murray, Patrick (2004). "O'Flanagan, Michael (1876–1942)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press.  ^ "Memorandum by James O'Connor of an interview with Edward Carson from James O'Connor". Documents on Irish Foreign Policy. Royal Irish Academy. January 1921. No. 129 UCDA P150/1902. Retrieved 1 April 2015.  ^ a b Dictionary of Irish National Biography[full citation needed] ^ Cronin, Seán (1981). Irish nationalism: a history of its roots and ideology. Continuum. p. 279. ISBN 9780826400628.  ^ Ó Conluain, Proinsias (17 October 1976). "The Staunchest Priest". Documentary on One. RTÉ Radio 1. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 

Party political offices

Preceded by ? Jennie Wyse Power (1911–) Vice-President of Sinn Féin 1917–1923 with Arthur Griffith
Arthur Griffith
(1917–1922) Succeeded by Kathleen Lynn
Kathleen Lynn
and P. J. Ruttledge

Preceded by Brian O'Higgins Leader of Sinn Féin 1933–1935 Succeeded by Cathal Ó Murchadha

External link: http://www.frmichaeloflanagan.com

v t e

Sinn Féin


History of Sinn Féin


Armalite and ballot box strategy Clann na hÉireann Cumann na nGaedheal (1900) Comhairle na dTeachtaí Éire Nua Election results Fianna Fáil Fine Gael Gaelic American German Plot Provisional IRA Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Manifesto 1918 Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
MPs Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
(newspaper) Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Printing & Publishing Company Republican News Republican Sinn Féin United Irishman Willie O'Dea affidavit incident Workers' Party of Ireland 32 County Sovereignty Movement



Edward Martyn (1905–08) John Sweetman (1908–11) Arthur Griffith
Arthur Griffith
(1911–17) Éamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera
(1917–26) John J. O'Kelly (Sceilg) (1926–31) Brian O'Higgins
Brian O'Higgins
(1931–33) Michael O'Flanagan (1933–35) Cathal Ó Murchadha (1935–37) Margaret Buckley (1937–50) Paddy McLogan (1950–52) Tomás Ó Dubhghaill (1952–54) Paddy McLogan (1954–62) Tomás Mac Giolla
Tomás Mac Giolla
(1962–70) Ruairí Ó Brádaigh
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh
(1970–83) Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams
(1983–2018) Mary Lou McDonald (2018–present)

Vice presidents

John Sweetman (1905–07) Arthur Griffith
Arthur Griffith
(1905–08; 1917–22) Bulmer Hobson
Bulmer Hobson
(1907–10) Jennie Wyse Power (1911–) Thomas Kelly (1911–) Fr. Michael O'Flanagan (1917–23) P. J. Ruttledge (1923–26) Mary MacSwiney John Madden John J. O'Kelly (1931-33) Margaret Buckley (1933–35; 1952–60) Liam Raul (1933-37) Tom Maguire
Tom Maguire
(1935-37) Seamus Mitchell Padraig de Paor Criostóir O'Neill Michael Traynor (1950–54; 1962) Tomás Ó Dubhghaill (1950–52; 1954–62) Tony Magan (1960–62) Rory O'Driscoll (1962–63) Larry Grogan (1962–69; 1970–71) Seán Caughey (1963–65) Joe Clarke (1966–72) Cathal Goulding (1969–70) Dáithí Ó Conaill
Dáithí Ó Conaill
(1971–78; 1978–83) Máire Drumm
Máire Drumm
(1972–76) Joe Cahill (1976–78) Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams
(1978–83) Phil Flynn (1983–85) John Joe McGirl (1985–88) Pat Doherty (1988–2009) Mary Lou McDonald (2009–2018) Michelle O'Neill
Michelle O'Neill

Seanad leaders

Pearse Doherty (2007–10) David Cullinane
David Cullinane
(2011–16) Rose Conway-Walsh
Rose Conway-Walsh

Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams
(1998–2007) Martin McGuinness
Martin McGuinness
(2007–17) Michelle O'Neill
Michelle O'Neill


Seán MacManus (1984–90) Tom Hartley (1990–96) Mitchel McLaughlin
Mitchel McLaughlin
(1996–2005) Mary Lou McDonald (2005–09) Declan Kearney
Declan Kearney

General secretaries

Joe Cahill Cathleen Knowles Tom Hartley (1984–86) Joe Reilly (1986–88) Lucilita Bhreatnach (1988–2003) Mitchel McLaughlin
Mitchel McLaughlin
(2003–07) Rita O'Hare
Rita O'Hare
(2007–09) Dawn Doyle
Dawn Doyle

Directors of publicity

Seán Ó Brádaigh (1960–79) Danny Morrison (1979–90) Rita O'Hare
Rita O'Hare
(1990–98) Dawn Doyle
Dawn Doyle
(1998–2008) Rosaleen Doherty (2008–)

Party structures

Leader of Sinn Féin Ardfheis Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Front Bench Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Republican Youth An Phoblacht Friends of Sinn Féin

Presidential candidates

Martin McGuinness
Martin McGuinness

Elected representatives

Dáil Éireann

Gerry Adams John Brady Pat Buckley Seán Crowe David Cullinane Pearse Doherty Dessie Ellis Martin Ferris Kathleen Funchion Martin Kenny Mary Lou McDonald Denise Mitchell Imelda Munster Carol Nolan Jonathan O'Brien Eoin Ó Broin Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Louise O'Reilly Aengus Ó Snodaigh Maurice Quinlivan Brian Stanley Peadar Tóibín

Seanad Éireann

Rose Conway-Walsh Máire Devine Paul Gavan Pádraig Mac Lochlainn Niall Ó Donnghaile Fintan Warfield

European Parliament

Martina Anderson Lynn Boylan Matt Carthy Liadh Ní Riada

Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland

Caoimhe Archibald Cathal Boylan Michaela Boyle Linda Dillon Jemma Dolan Sinéad Ennis Megan Fearon Órlaithí Flynn Colm Gildernew Declan Kearney Catherine Kelly Gerry Kelly Seán Lynch Alex Maskey Declan McAleer Raymond McCartney Fra McCann Philip McGuigan Ian Milne Karen Mullan Conor Murphy Carál Ní Chuilín John O'Dowd Máirtín Ó Muilleoir Michelle O'Neill Emma Rogan Pat Sheehan

House of Commons (Abstentionist)

Mickey Brady Michelle Gildernew Chris Hazzard Paul Maskey Elisha McCallion Barry McElduff Francie Molloy


List of current Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
elected representatives


European United Left–Nordic Green Left

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 68145858 LCCN: n93090041 BNF: