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This is a list of by-elections to Dáil Éireann, the house of representatives of the Oireachtas, the Irish legislature. By-elections in Ireland occur to fill vacant seats which can be caused by the death, resignation or expulsion of a sitting Teachta Dála (member of parliament).

There have been 131 by-elections since 1923, to fill 133 vacancies. 92 of these were caused by the death of a sitting Teachta Dála (TD). There were seven by-elections during the lifetime of the 31st Dáil. There were no by-elections during the 3rd, 7th, 9th, 11th, 22nd, 25th and 26th Dála. The longest period without a by-election was almost 10 years between 1984 and 1994. The largest number of by-elections on one day was on 11 March 1925, when seven constituencies filled nine vacancies caused by the National Party's split from Cumann na nGaedheal. Those seven by-elections included two which filled two vacancies, via the single transferable vote. All the other by-elections have used its single-winner analogue, the alternative vote.

Twenty-two TDs were first elected at a by-election and never subsequently re-elected at a general election. The only person twice elected at by-elections was Thomas Hennessy.


First and Second DáilEdit

The First Dáil was established by Sinn Féin members returned in the 1918 election to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. Convention in the Commons was that the writ for a by-election be moved by a party colleague of the vacating member, which was impossible for the abstentionist Sinn Féin. There were three by-elections held for Westminster constituencies vacated by Unionist members during the lifetime of the First Dáil, all of whom took their seats in Westminster.

When Pierce McCan died on 6 March 1919, his East Tipperary seat was left vacant at Westminster. In April 1919 a Dáil committee considering how to fill the vacancy considered allowing nomination by the Labour Party (which had stood aside in the 1918 election to avoid splitting the nationalist vote)[1] before recommending that the Sinn Féin constituency organisation should nominate.[2] However, in June 1919 the Dáil decided that "it was due to the memory of the late Pierce McCann that his place should not be filled at present".[3] Later vacancies were also left unfilled; when Diarmuid Lynch resigned his seat in 1920, Arthur Griffith said "as the letter of resignation was addressed to the people of South-East Cork, the next step in the matter lay with the South-East Cork Executive of Sinn Fein".[4]

Four Sinn Féin TDs represented two separate constituencies: Éamon de Valera, Arthur Griffith, Eoin MacNeill and Liam Mellowes. Ordinarily, this would prompt them to choose one constituency to represent, and to move a writ for a by-election in the other constituency. Again, as they were not sitting in the House of Commons, no writ was moved.

Winner Party Constituency Date Outgoing Party Reason for vacancy Notes
Hugh T. Barrie U North Londonderry 4 March 1919 Hugh Anderson U Resignation This was the only by-election contested by Sinn Féin, Patrick McGilligan losing.[5]
George Hanna Ind U East Antrim 27 May 1919 Robert McCalmont U Appointed commander of the Irish Guards
William Jellett U University of Dublin 28 July 1919 Arthur Samuels U Appointed to the High Court of Justice in Ireland Returned unopposed
Seat left vacant East Tipperary none Pierce McCan SF Died 6 March 1919
Seat left vacant South East Cork none Diarmuid Lynch SF Resignation in August 1920
Seat left vacant Mid Cork none Terence MacSwiney SF Died 25 October 1920

The Second Dáil comprised those returned in the 1921 elections to the House of Commons of Southern Ireland and the House of Commons of Northern Ireland. There were no by-elections to either body during the lifetime of the Second Dáil.

By-elections since 1923Edit

By-elections in which seats changed hands are indicated with a grey background.

Winner Party Constituency Date Dáil Outgoing Party Reason for vacancy

Hugh Kennedy[n 1] CnaG Dublin South 27 October 1923 4th Dáil Michael Hayes CnaG Hayes was elected in two constituencies and opted to represent the NUI[6]
Patrick McGilligan CnaG NUI 3 November 1923 4th Dáil Eoin MacNeill CnaG MacNeill was elected in two constituencies and opted to represent Clare.[7]
James O'Mara[n 1] CnaG Dublin South 12 March 1924 4th Dáil Philip Cosgrave CnaG Death of Philip Cosgrave
Batt O'Connor CnaG Dublin County 19 March 1924 4th Dáil Michael Derham CnaG Death of Michael Derham
Richard O'Connell CnaG Limerick 28 May 1924 4th Dáil Richard Hayes CnaG Resignation of Richard Hayes
Michael Noonan[n 1] CnaG Cork East 18 November 1924 4th Dáil Thomas O'Mahony CnaG Death of Thomas O'Mahony
Seán Lemass Rep Dublin South 18 November 1924 4th Dáil Hugh Kennedy CnaG Appointment of Hugh Kennedy as Chief Justice
John Madden Rep Mayo North 18 November 1924 4th Dáil Henry Coyle CnaG Disqualification of Henry Coyle
Michael Egan CnaG Cork Borough 19 November 1924 4th Dáil Alfred O'Rahilly CnaG Resignation of Alfred O'Rahilly
Denis McCullough[n 1] CnaG Donegal 20 November 1924 4th Dáil Peter J. Ward CnaG Resignation of Peter J. Ward
Thomas Bolger[n 1] CnaG Carlow–Kilkenny 11 March 1925 4th Dáil Seán Gibbons CnaG Resignation of Seán Gibbons
John Joe O'Reilly CnaG Cavan 11 March 1925 4th Dáil Seán Milroy CnaG Resignation of Seán Milroy
Patrick Leonard CnaG Dublin North[n 2] 11 March 1925 4th Dáil Francis Cahill CnaG Resignation of Francis Cahill on 30 October 1924
Oscar Traynor Rep Dublin North[n 2] 11 March 1925 4th Dáil Seán McGarry CnaG Resignation of Seán McGarry on 30 October 1924
Thomas Hennessy CnaG Dublin South 11 March 1925 4th Dáil Daniel McCarthy CnaG Resignation of Daniel McCarthy
Samuel Holt Rep Leitrim–Sligo[n 2] 11 March 1925 4th Dáil Thomas Carter CnaG Resignation of Thomas Carter on 30 October 1924
Martin Roddy CnaG Leitrim–Sligo[n 2] 11 March 1925 4th Dáil Alexander McCabe CnaG Resignation of Alexander McCabe
Michael Tierney CnaG Mayo North 11 March 1925 4th Dáil Joseph McGrath CnaG Resignation of Joseph McGrath on 29 October 1924
Martin Conlon CnaG Roscommon 11 March 1925 4th Dáil Henry Finlay CnaG Resignation of Henry Finlay
William Norton Lab Dublin County 18 February 1926 4th Dáil Darrell Figgis Ind Death of Darrell Figgis
James Dwyer CnaG Leix–Offaly 18 February 1926 4th Dáil Seán McGuinness Rep Disqualification of Seán McGuinness

Gearóid O'Sullivan CnaG Dublin County 24 August 1927 5th Dáil Kevin O'Higgins CnaG Assassination of Kevin O'Higgins
Thomas Hennessy CnaG Dublin South 24 August 1927 5th Dáil Constance Markievicz FF Death of Constance Markievicz

Denis Gorey CnaG Carlow–Kilkenny 3 November 1927 6th Dáil W. T. Cosgrave CnaG Cosgrave was elected in two constituencies and opted to represent Cork Borough[8]
Vincent Rice CnaG Dublin North 3 April 1928 6th Dáil James Larkin IWL Disqualification of James Larkin due to bankruptcy
Thomas F. O'Higgins CnaG Dublin North 14 March 1929 6th Dáil Alfie Byrne Ind Election of Alfie Byrne to Seanad Éireann
Seán Mac Eoin CnaG Leitrim–Sligo 7 June 1929 6th Dáil Samuel Holt FF Death of Samuel Holt
James Geoghegan FF Longford–Westmeath 13 June 1930 6th Dáil James Killane FF Death of James Killane
Thomas Finlay CnaG Dublin County 9 December 1930 6th Dáil Bryan Cooper CnaG Death of Bryan Cooper
Thomas Harris FF Kildare 29 June 1931 6th Dáil Hugh Colohan Lab Death of Hugh Colohan

Robert Rowlette[n 1] Ind University of Dublin 13 October 1933 8th Dáil James Craig Ind Death of James Craig
Cecil Lavery FG Dublin County 17 June 1935 8th Dáil Batt O'Connor FG Death of Batt O'Connor
Eamon Corbett FF Galway 19 June 1935 8th Dáil Martin McDonogh FG Death of Martin McDonogh
Martin Neilan[n 1] FF Galway 13 August 1936 8th Dáil Patrick Hogan FG Death of Patrick Hogan
Denis Allen FF Wexford 17 August 1936 8th Dáil Osmond Esmonde FG Death of Osmond Esmonde

John McCann FF Dublin South 6 June 1939 10th Dáil James Beckett FG Death of James Beckett
John J. Keane[n 1] FF Galway West 30 May 1940 10th Dáil Seán Tubridy FF Death of Seán Tubridy

Donal O'Donoghue[n 1] FF Kerry South 10 November 1944 12th Dáil Fionán Lynch FG Appointment of Fionán Lynch as a Judge
Patrick Shanahan[n 1] FF Clare 4 December 1945 12th Dáil Patrick Burke FG Death of Patrick Burke
Vivion de Valera FF Dublin North-West 4 December 1945 12th Dáil Seán T. O'Kelly FF Election of Seán T. O'Kelly as President
Honor Crowley FF Kerry South 4 December 1945 12th Dáil Frederick Crowley FF Death of Frederick Crowley
Bernard Commons CnaT Mayo South 4 December 1945 12th Dáil Micheál Clery FF Appointment of Micheál Clery as County Registrar of Dublin
Brendan Corish Lab Wexford 4 December 1945 12th Dáil Richard Corish Lab Death of Richard Corish
Patrick McGrath FF Cork Borough 14 June 1946 12th Dáil William Dwyer Ind Resignation of William Dwyer
Seán MacBride CnaP Dublin County 29 October 1947 12th Dáil Patrick Fogarty FF Death of Patrick Fogarty
Patrick Kinane CnaP Tipperary 29 October 1947 12th Dáil William O'Donnell CnaT Death of William O'Donnell
John Ormonde FF Waterford 29 October 1947 12th Dáil Michael Morrissey FF Death of Michael Morrissey

Neil Blaney FF Donegal East 7 December 1948 13th Dáil Neal Blaney FF Death of Neal Blaney
William J. Murphy[n 1] Lab Cork West 15 June 1949 13th Dáil Timothy J. Murphy Lab Death of Timothy J. Murphy
Patrick O'Donnell FG Donegal West 16 November 1949 13th Dáil Brian Brady FF Death of Brian Brady

John Carew FG Limerick East 26 June 1952 14th Dáil Daniel Bourke FF Death of Daniel Bourke
Phelim Calleary FF Mayo North 26 June 1952 14th Dáil P. J. Ruttledge FF Death of P. J. Ruttledge
William Kenneally FF Waterford 26 June 1952 14th Dáil Bridget Redmond FG Death of Bridget Redmond
Thomas Byrne Ind Dublin North-West 12 November 1952 14th Dáil A. P. Byrne Ind Death of A. P. Byrne
Richard Barry FG Cork East 18 June 1953 14th Dáil Seán Keane Lab Death of Seán Keane
Mark Deering FG Wicklow 18 June 1953 14th Dáil Thomas Brennan FF Death of Thomas Brennan
Robert Lahiffe FF Galway South 21 August 1953 14th Dáil Frank Fahy FF Death of Frank Fahy
Stephen Barrett FG Cork Borough 3 March 1954 14th Dáil Thomas F. O'Higgins FG Death of Thomas F. O'Higgins
George Coburn FG Louth 3 March 1954 14th Dáil James Coburn FG Death of James Coburn

Michael Colbert FF Limerick West 13 December 1955 15th Dáil David Madden FG Death of David Madden
Kathleen O'Connor[n 1] CnaP Kerry North 29 February 1956 15th Dáil Johnny Connor CnaP Death of Johnny Connor
Patrick Byrne Ind Dublin North-East 30 April 1956 15th Dáil Alfie Byrne Ind Death of Alfie Byrne
Kieran Egan FF Leix–Offaly 30 April 1956 15th Dáil William Davin Lab Death of William Davin
John Galvin FF Cork Borough 2 August 1956 15th Dáil Patrick McGrath FF Death of Patrick McGrath
Martin Medlar FF Carlow–Kilkenny 14 November 1956 15th Dáil Thomas Walsh FF Death of Thomas Walsh
Noel Lemass FF Dublin South-West 14 November 1956 15th Dáil Peadar Doyle FG Death of Peadar Doyle

Frank Sherwin Ind Dublin North-Central 14 November 1957 16th Dáil Colm Gallagher FF Death of Colm Gallagher
Anthony Millar FF Galway South 30 May 1958 16th Dáil Patrick Beegan FF Death of Patrick Beegan
Patrick Cummins FF Dublin South-Central 25 June 1958 16th Dáil Jack Murphy Ind Resignation of Jack Murphy
Seán Ó Ceallaigh FF Clare 22 July 1959 16th Dáil Éamon de Valera FF Election of Éamon de Valera as President
Richie Ryan FG Dublin South-West 22 July 1959 16th Dáil Bernard Butler FF Death of Bernard Butler
Henry Johnston[n 1] FF Meath 22 July 1959 16th Dáil James Griffin FF Death of James Griffin
Patrick Teehan[n 1] FF Carlow–Kilkenny 23 June 1960 16th Dáil Joseph Hughes FG Death of Joseph Hughes
Joseph McLoughlin FG Sligo–Leitrim 1 March 1961 16th Dáil Stephen Flynn FF Death of Stephen Flynn

Paddy Belton FG Dublin North-East 30 May 1963 17th Dáil Jack Belton FG Death of Jack Belton
Sheila Galvin[n 1] FF Cork Borough 19 February 1964 17th Dáil John Galvin FF Death of John Galvin
Terence Boylan FF Kildare 19 February 1964 17th Dáil William Norton Lab Death of William Norton
Joan Burke FG Roscommon 8 July 1964 17th Dáil James Burke FG Death of James Burke
John Donnellan FG Galway East 3 December 1964 17th Dáil Michael Donnellan CnaT Death of Michael Donnellan
Eileen Desmond Lab Cork Mid 10 March 1965 17th Dáil Dan Desmond Lab Death of Dan Desmond

John O'Leary FF Kerry South 7 December 1966 18th Dáil Honor Crowley FF Death of Honor Crowley
Fad Browne FF Waterford 7 December 1966 18th Dáil Thaddeus Lynch FG Death of Thaddeus Lynch
Seán French FF Cork Borough 9 November 1967 18th Dáil Seán Casey Lab Death of Seán Casey
Gerry Collins FF Limerick West 9 November 1967 18th Dáil James Collins FF Death of James Collins
Sylvester Barrett FF Clare 14 March 1968 18th Dáil William Murphy FG Death of William Murphy
Godfrey Timmins FG Wicklow 14 March 1968 18th Dáil James Everett Lab Death of James Everett
Desmond O'Malley FF Limerick East 22 May 1968 18th Dáil Donogh O'Malley FF Death of Donogh O'Malley

Seán Sherwin[n 1] FF Dublin South-West 4 March 1970 19th Dáil Seán Dunne Lab Death of Seán Dunne
Patrick Malone FG Kildare 14 April 1970 19th Dáil Gerard Sweetman FG Death of Gerard Sweetman
Patrick Cooney FG Longford–Westmeath 14 April 1970 19th Dáil Patrick Lenihan FF Death of Patrick Lenihan
Patrick Delap[n 1] FF Donegal–Leitrim 2 December 1970 19th Dáil Patrick O'Donnell FG Death of Patrick O'Donnell
Larry McMahon FG Dublin County South 2 December 1970 19th Dáil Kevin Boland FF Resignation of Kevin Boland
Gene Fitzgerald FF Cork Mid 2 August 1972 19th Dáil Paddy Forde FF Death of Paddy Forde

Brendan Toal[n 1] FG Monaghan 27 November 1973 20th Dáil Erskine H. Childers FF Election of Erskine H. Childers as President
Seán Brosnan FF Cork North-East 13 November 1974 20th Dáil Liam Ahern FF Death of Liam Ahern
Michael P. Kitt FF Galway North-East 4 March 1975 20th Dáil Michael F. Kitt FF Death of Michael F. Kitt
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn FF Galway West 4 March 1975 20th Dáil Johnny Geoghegan FF Death of Johnny Geoghegan
Enda Kenny FG Mayo West 12 November 1975 20th Dáil Henry Kenny FG Death of Henry Kenny
Paddy Keaveney[n 1] IFF Donegal North-East 10 June 1976 20th Dáil Liam Cunningham FF Death of Liam Cunningham
Brendan Halligan[n 1] Lab Dublin South-West 10 June 1976 20th Dáil Noel Lemass FF Death of Noel Lemass

Liam Burke FG Cork City 7 November 1979 21st Dáil Patrick Kerrigan Lab Death of Patrick Kerrigan
Myra Barry FG Cork North-East 7 November 1979 21st Dáil Seán Brosnan FF Death of Seán Brosnan
Clement Coughlan FF Donegal 6 November 1980 21st Dáil Joseph Brennan FF Death of Joseph Brennan

Liam Skelly FG Dublin West 25 May 1982 23rd Dáil Richard Burke FG Resignation of Burke on appointment as EU Commissioner
Noel Treacy FF Galway East 20 July 1982 23rd Dáil Johnny Callanan FF Death of Johnny Callanan

Cathal Coughlan[n 1] FF Donegal South-West 13 May 1983 24th Dáil Clement Coughlan FF Death of Clement Coughlan
Tom Leonard FF Dublin Central 23 November 1983 24th Dáil George Colley FF Death of George Colley
Brian Cowen FF Laois–Offaly 14 June 1984 24th Dáil Bernard Cowen FF Death of Bernard Cowen

Eric Byrne DL Dublin South-Central 9 June 1994 27th Dáil John O'Connell FF Resignation of John O'Connell
Michael Ring FG Mayo West 9 June 1994 27th Dáil Pádraig Flynn FF Resignation of Pádraig Flynn on appointment as EU Commissioner
Kathleen Lynch DL Cork North-Central 10 November 1994 27th Dáil Gerry O'Sullivan Lab Death of Gerry O'Sullivan
Hugh Coveney FG Cork South-Central 10 November 1994 27th Dáil Pat Cox PD Resignation of Pat Cox after election as MEP
Mildred Fox Ind Wicklow 29 June 1995 27th Dáil Johnny Fox Ind Death of Johnny Fox
Cecilia Keaveney FF Donegal North-East 2 April 1996 27th Dáil Neil Blaney IFF Death of Neil Blaney
Brian Lenihan Jnr FF Dublin West 2 April 1996 27th Dáil Brian Lenihan Snr FF Death of Brian Lenihan Snr

Jan O'Sullivan Lab Limerick East 11 March 1998 28th Dáil Jim Kemmy Lab Death of Jim Kemmy
Seán Ryan Lab Dublin North 11 March 1998 28th Dáil Ray Burke FF Resignation of Ray Burke
Simon Coveney FG Cork South-Central 23 October 1998 28th Dáil Hugh Coveney FG Death of Hugh Coveney
Mary Upton Lab Dublin South-Central 27 October 1999 28th Dáil Pat Upton Lab Death of Pat Upton
Séamus Healy Ind Tipperary South 22 June 2000 28th Dáil Michael Ferris Lab Death of Michael Ferris
Tom Hayes FG Tipperary South 30 June 2001 28th Dáil Theresa Ahearn FG Death of Theresa Ahearn

Catherine Murphy Ind Kildare North 11 March 2005 29th Dáil Charlie McCreevy FF Resignation of Charlie McCreevy on appointment as EU Commissioner
Shane McEntee FG Meath 11 March 2005 29th Dáil John Bruton FG Resignation of John Bruton on appointment as EU Ambassador to the United States

George Lee[n 1] FG Dublin South 5 June 2009 30th Dáil Séamus Brennan FF Death of Séamus Brennan
Maureen O'Sullivan Ind Dublin Central 5 June 2009 30th Dáil Tony Gregory Ind Death of Tony Gregory
Pearse Doherty SF Donegal South-West 25 November 2010 30th Dáil Pat "the Cope" Gallagher FF Election of Pat "the Cope" Gallagher to the European Parliament
Patrick Nulty Lab Dublin West 27 October 2011 31st Dáil Brian Lenihan Jnr FF Death of Brian Lenihan Jnr
Helen McEntee FG Meath East 27 March 2013 31st Dáil Shane McEntee FG Death of Shane McEntee
Ruth Coppinger SP Dublin West 23 May 2014 31st Dáil Patrick Nulty Ind Resignation of Patrick Nulty
Gabrielle McFadden[n 1] FG Longford–Westmeath 23 May 2014 31st Dáil Nicky McFadden FG Death of Nicky McFadden
Paul Murphy AAA Dublin South-West 10 October 2014 31st Dáil Brian Hayes FG Election of Brian Hayes to the European Parliament
Michael Fitzmaurice Ind Roscommon–South Leitrim 10 October 2014 31st Dáil Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Ind Election of Luke 'Ming' Flanagan to the European Parliament
Bobby Aylward FF Carlow–Kilkenny 22 May 2015 31st Dáil Phil Hogan FG Resignation of Phil Hogan on appointment as EU Commissioner


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w TDs who were never subsequently re-elected.
  2. ^ a b c d A single by-election to fill two vacancies in the same constituency.


  • Walker, Brian M, ed. (1992). Parliamentary election results in Ireland, 1918–92. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. ISBN 0-901714-96-8. ISSN 0332-0286.
  • "Dáil by-elections 1918–2005". Retrieved 28 January 2008.


  1. ^ Mitchell, Arthur (1995). Revolutionary Government in Ireland: Dáil Éireann, 1919-22. Gill & MacMillan. p. 24. ISBN 9780717114818.
  2. ^ "East Tipperary Vacancy". Dáil Éireann debate. Oireachtas. 17 June 1919. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Report of Select Committee on East Tipperary Vacancy". Dáil Éireann debate. Oireachtas. 17 June 1919. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Resignation Of Deputy For South-East Cork". Dáil Éireann debate. Oireachtas. 6 August 1920. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  5. ^ Laffan, Michael (1999). The Resurrection of Ireland: The Sinn Féin Party, 1916–1923. Cambridge University Press. p. 309. ISBN 9781139426299. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  6. ^ Dáil debates Vol.5 No.1 p.5
  7. ^ Dáil debates Vol.5 No.4 p.19
  8. ^ Dáil debates Vol.21 No.1 p.3