Cosgrave, William Thomas

Cosgrave, William Thomas

Cosgrave, William Thomas (kŏzˈgrāv), 1880–1965, Irish statesman; father of Liam Cosgrave. A member of Sinn Féin, he fought in the Easter Rebellion (1916) and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Freed a year later, he was elected to the British Parliament in 1918 but protested British rule by refusing to take his seat. He helped organize an independent Irish Assembly, the Dáil Éireann in 1919. Minister for local government in the revolutionary cabinet, Cosgrave supported the 1921 treaty with Great Britain that set up the Irish Free State (see Ireland). After the deaths of Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins, he was elected president and served from 1922 to 1932. He was opposition leader of his Fine Gael, or United Ireland, party from 1932 until his resignation in 1944.
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Cosgrave, William Thomas

 

Born June 6, 1880, in Dublin; died there Nov. 16, 1965. Irish political leader and statesman.

Cosgrave joined the Sinn Fein movement, formed in 1905, and took part in the Easter Rebellion of 1916. He was a member of the Irish parliament from 1918 to 1944 and minister for local government in the Irish government from 1917 to 1922. As one of the leaders of the right wing of the Sinn Fein movement, Cosgrave supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, signed by M. Collins. He was head of the government of the Irish Free State (Eire) from 1922 to 1932 and also occupied the posts of minister of finance (1922–23) and minister of defense (1924). Cosgrave carried out reactionary political policies serving the interests of Irish capitalist circles, which were closely linked with British imperialism. He was leader of the opposition from 1932 to 1944.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.