Identity Statement for Sinn Féin Party

  • Reference code: IE UCDA P163
  • Title: Records of Sinn Féin Party
  • Dates: 1912–13; 1919–22
  • Level of description: Item
  • Extent: 2 volumes
  • Context
  • Content and Structure
  • Conditions of Access and Use

Institutional History

Sinn Féin was founded by Arthur Griffith and Bulmer Hobson in 1905. Other prominent members were W.T. Cosgrave, Seán T. O'Kelly, Countess Markievicz and Seán MacDiarmada. Initially unsuccessful in gaining support of the people, it became popular during World War I for its anti-conscription stance. Its real coup, however, was taking advantage of public outrage following the 1916 executions, and gained more or less nationwide support. In 1917, the party was reorganised with De Valera as president. It campaigned successfully and in January 1919, the first Dáil Éireann was formed with Sinn Féin in power. The party split after the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921. Those who accepted the Treaty formed Cumann Na nGaedheal, while those remaining, including de Valera, continued to call themselves Sinn Féin. De Valera left the party in 1927 to found Fianna Fáil, and Sinn Féin, due to its absentionist policy and refusal to recognise the Free State (1922), Éire (1937), or the Republic of Ireland (1949) had little support in following decades in the South of Ireland. In 1970 the party split again, into Official Sinn Féin which eventually became Democratic Left and Provisional Sinn Féin, a stronger, more fundamentalist party which today challenges the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) for the nationalist vote in Northern Ireland.

Archival History

After being used as evidence in the Sinn Féin Funds case in 1948, Buckely v Attorney General, the minute books were deposited in UCD Archives by Professor Richard Mulcahy.

Scope and Content

Minute book recording proceedings of the Sinn Féin Annual Congress (4 October 1912), Special Congress on the Political Situation (22 March 1913) and regular meetings of An Cómhairle Náisiúnta [National Council] (January–July 1913). Minute book recording minutes of meetings of the Sinn Féin Gnath-Cómhairle [Standing Committee] (5 June 1919–31 March 1922), stamped 'Easter Sittings 1948. Buckley v Att[orney] Gen[eral]. Entered for Pl[ainti]ff[s]' [Sinn Féin Funds case].

  • Access: Available by appointment to holders of a UCD Archives reader's ticket. Produced for consultation in digital format.
  • Language: English
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