The Republic of Ireland (formerly the Irish Free State), born in revolution and baptised in civil war, is one of the few states established in the aftermath of the 1914–18 European war to have survived as parliamentary democracies throughout the succeeding century.
Irish Parliamentarians is a directory of the 1,780 men and women who have been deputies (TDs) or senators in the parliament of the Irish state since the first meeting of Dáil Éireann in January 1919. It profiles the founders of modern Irish democracy and their successors, with details of their families, education, and careers inside and outside politics. In these pages we find, for example, Constance Markievicz, Michael Collins, Éamon de Valera, W.T. Cosgrave, Seán Lemass, Jack Lynch, Liam Cosgrave, Charles J. Haughey, Garret FitzGerald and Mary Robinson, along with a host of major and minor figures who contributed to Irish life and the evolution of the modern Irish state.
Emerging from a society with virtually no industrial structure, the early parliamentarians were mostly minor public servants, farmers, teachers, journalists and merchants, along with lawyers, medical doctors and other professionals. Their profile widened in later years, reflecting changes in Irish society and the economy, most notably in the increasing number of women elected in recent decades.
1,302 have been deputies and 478 senators, with 318 TDs also serving terms as senators. Of the total, 189 have been women. Those elected to the Dáil and Seanad have come from over 20 political parties, with a significant number of independents.
All are profiled here, in a comprehensive volume that will be an indispensable source for anyone with an interest in the personalities and evolution of Irish democracy.