East Kerry (UK Parliament constituency)

East Kerry was a UK Parliament constituency in Ireland, returning one Member of Parliament from 1885 to 1922.

East Kerry
Former county constituency
for the House of Commons
Replaced byKerry–Limerick West
Created fromCounty Kerry

Prior to the 1885 United Kingdom general election the area was part of the Kerry constituency. Representation at Westminster in this constituency ceased at the 1922 United Kingdom general election, which took place on 15 November, shortly before the establishment of the Irish Free State on 6 December 1922. The successor constituency in the new Dáil Éireann was Kerry–Limerick West first established under the Government of Ireland Act 1920 to elect members to the House of Commons of Southern Ireland in 1921.


This constituency comprised the eastern part of County Kerry.

1885–1922: The barony of Magunihy and that part of the barony of Trughanacmy not included in the constituency of West Kerry.

Members of ParliamentEdit

Election Member [1] Party
1885 Jeremiah Sheehan Irish Parliamentary Party
1891 Irish National Federation
1895 Michael Davitt[a] Irish National Federation
1895 vacant[a]
1896 The Hon James Roche Irish National Federation
1900 John Murphy Irish Parliamentary Party
1910 (January) Eugene O'Sullivan Irish Parliamentary Party[b]
1910 (June) vacant[c]
1910 (December) Timothy O'Sullivan Irish Parliamentary Party
1918 Piaras Béaslaí Sinn Féin
1922 constituency abolished


  1. ^ a b At the 1895 general election, Michael Davitt was also elected for South Mayo, and chose to sit for that seat. The East Kerry seat remained vacant until a by-election was held on 27 March 1896
  2. ^ Eugene O'Sullivan was elected as an Independent Nationalist but two days after beating the IPP John Murphy, he announced that he would join the IPP.[2]
  3. ^ After the general election in January 1910, John Murphy launched an election petition, alleging intimidation and irregularities at the election. The petition was heard in June 1910, at Killarney before Mr. Justices Madden and Kenny. After a hearing of 7 days the judges found for Murphy, and O'Sullivan was unseated.[3] However, the Irish Parliamentary Party failed to move the writ for a by-election, and the seat remained vacant until the December 1910 general election.[4]


Elections in the 1880sEdit

General election 1885: East Kerry[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Irish Parliamentary Jeremiah Sheehan 3,169 99.1
Conservative Charles Henry de Grey Robertson 30 0.9
Majority 3,139 98.21
Turnout 3,199 53.6
Registered electors 5,971
Irish Parliamentary win (new seat)

1 This remains the largest majority by percentage of the vote in any contested UK Parliamentary election.

General election 1886: East Kerry[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Irish Parliamentary Jeremiah Sheehan Unopposed
Irish Parliamentary hold

Elections in the 1890sEdit

General election 1892: East Kerry[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Irish National Federation Jeremiah Sheehan 2,600 91.1 N/A
Irish Unionist John McGillycuddy 253 8.9 New
Majority 2,347 82.2 N/A
Turnout 2,853 48.5 N/A
Registered electors 5,885
Irish National Federation gain from Irish Parliamentary Swing N/A
General election 1895: East Kerry[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Irish National Federation Michael Davitt Unopposed
Irish National Federation hold

Davitt also stood unopposed in South Mayo. He took up the South Mayo seat and Kerry East remained vacant until the by-election the following year.

James Roche was returned but with fewer votes than his Nationalist predecessors. It was thought he lost some support because as a divorced man he was less popular with the Catholic vote.[6]

East Kerry by-election, 27 March 1896[7][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Irish National Federation James Roche 1,961 74.3 N/A
Irish Unionist John McGillycuddy 680 25.7 New
Majority 1,281 48.6 N/A
Turnout 2,641 46.9 N/A
Registered electors 5,629
Irish National Federation hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1900sEdit

General election 1900: East Kerry[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Irish Parliamentary John Murphy Unopposed
Irish Parliamentary hold

In the closely fought contest of the 1906 election between two nationalist factions, Murphy was returned by a narrow margin:

General election 1906: East Kerry[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Irish Parliamentary John Murphy 2,185 50.6 N/A
Independent Nationalist Eugene O'Sullivan 2,131 49.4 New
Majority 54 1.2 N/A
Turnout 4,316 76.9 N/A
Registered electors 5,611
Irish Parliamentary hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1910sEdit

In the January 1910 election, the incumbent Murphy (Official Nationalist) was beaten by Independent candidate, Eugene O'Sullivan, who was a follower of William O'Brien's All-for-Ireland League. Shortly after being elected, O'Sullivan re-joined the official Nationalists, but Murphy petitioned the courts claiming that the vote had been rigged and that O'Sullivan had only won through violence and intimidation. The court cleared O'Sullivan of vote rigging but found him guilty of intimidation.[8] The election was declared void, unseating O'Sullivan and creating a vacancy.

General election January 1910: East Kerry[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Nationalist Eugene O'Sullivan 2,643 55.1 +5.7
Irish Parliamentary John Murphy 2,154 44.9 −5.7
Majority 489 10.2 N/A
Turnout 4,797 83.2 +6.3
Registered electors 5,766
Independent Nationalist gain from Irish Parliamentary Swing +5.7

In the December 1910 election, Eugene O'Sullivan's cousin, Timothy O'Sullivan, stood for the Nationalists. The All-for-Ireland candidate, Patrick Guiney, contested both this seat and North Cork. Although he lost in East Kerry, he was elected unopposed in North Cork, so both candidates became Members of Parliament, albeit for different constituencies. As earlier in the year, the election was marred by election violence, which included a riot at Castleisland.[9]

General election December 1910: East Kerry[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Irish Parliamentary Timothy O'Sullivan 2,561 66.2 +21.3
All-for-Ireland Patrick Guiney 1,308 33.8 New
Majority 1,253 32.4 N/A
Turnout 3,869 67.1 −16.1
Registered electors 5,766
Irish Parliamentary gain from Independent Nationalist Swing N/A
General election 1918: East Kerry[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Sinn Féin Piaras Béaslaí Unopposed
Sinn Féin gain from Irish Parliamentary Swing N/A

In accordance with his party's policy, Béaslaí declined to take his seat in the British House of Commons, sitting instead in the Irish revolutionary assembly, Dáil Éireann.


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "K" (part 1)
  2. ^ The Times (London), Friday, January 28, 1910 p. 7 col. E
  3. ^ The Times, 30 June 1910
  4. ^ The Times, 21 November 1910
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Walker, Brian M., ed. (1978). Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801–1922. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. ISBN 0901714127.
  6. ^ The Times (London) Friday, 27 March 1896, p. 7 col. F
  7. ^ The Constitutional Year Book, 1904, published by Conservative Central Office, page 190 (214 in web page)
  8. ^ The Times (London), Wednesday 22 June 1910, p. 10 col. B
  9. ^ The Times (London), Thursday, 15 December 1910; p. 6 col. D