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Healy, Timothy

Healy, Timothy (1855–1931). Healy was born in Bantry (Co. Cork) but moved to Newcastle upon Tyne in 1871 to work as a railway clerk. He was largely self-taught, assisted by a prodigious memory. He became a devoted disciple of Parnell, writing in his support in the Nation. He was elected to Parliament in 1880 for Wexford and at once established himself as a clever debater. In 1883 he served a six-month sentence for incitement to violence and in 1884 was called to the bar. In 1890, when the Parnell divorce scandal broke, Healy attacked him vehemently: his interjection in Committee Room 15, ‘who is to be the mistress of the party?’, still reverberates. He was in the anti-Parnell group until the Irish party reunited in 1900, but remained on uneasy terms with Redmond and the leadership, and moved towards Sinn Fein. Healy did not stand in the 1918 election which swept Sinn Fein to victory, but in 1922 became the first governor-general of the Irish Free State, serving until 1928.

J. A. Cannon

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