Thomas J. O'Connell

Thomas Joseph O'Connell (21 November 1882 – 22 June 1969) was an Irish Labour Party politician who served as Leader of the Labour Party from 1927 to 1932. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1922 to 1932. He was a Senator for the Cultural and Educational Panel from 1938 to 1944, 1948 to 1951 and 1954 to 1957.[1]

Thomas J. O'Connell
Leader of the Labour Party
In office
11 August 1927  14 July 1932
Preceded byThomas Johnson
Succeeded byWilliam Norton
Teachta Dála
In office
June 1927  February 1932
ConstituencyMayo South
In office
June 1922  June 1927
In office
6 March 1938  30 April 1944
In office
7 July 1948  22 May 1951
In office
9 July 1954  28 April 1957
ConstituencyCultural and Educational Panel
Personal details
Thomas Joseph O'Connell

(1882-11-21)21 November 1882
Knock, County Mayo, Ireland
Died22 June 1969(1969-06-22) (aged 86)
Galway, Ireland
Political partyLabour Party

O'Connell was born near Knock, County Mayo. From 1902 to 1916 he worked first as a national teacher and then as a school principal. In 1926 he became general secretary of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation.

He was a member of Dáil Éireann from 1922 to 1932, serving as leader of the Irish Labour Party in the Dáil from 1927 to 1932. From 1929 to 1930 he was president of the Irish Labour Party and the Irish Trade Union Congress. In 1935 he founded the Educational Building Society.

Electoral history

At the 1922 general election, he was elected as Teachta Dála (TD) for Galway, and he was re-elected at the 1923 general election. At the June 1927 election he stood instead in the new five-seat Mayo South constituency, where he topped the poll, and he was re-elected at the September 1927 election.[2] He lost his seat at the 1932 election, did not contest the 1933 general election, and in 1941 he was elected to 3rd Seanad.

In 1943, he was elected to the 4th Seanad by the Cultural and Educational Panel, but did not contest the 1944 Seanad election. The Cultural and Educational Panel re-elected him in 1948 to the 6th Seanad and in 1954 to the 8th Seanad.


  1. "Thomas O'Connell". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  2. "Thomas J. O'Connell". Retrieved 16 April 2012.


  • Thomas Johnson, 1872–1963, John Anthony Gaughan, Kingdom Books, Dublin, 1980, ISBN 0-9506015-3-5
Party political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Johnson
Leader of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
William Norton
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Eamonn Mansfield
General Secretary of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation
Succeeded by
D. J. Kelleher
Preceded by
Luke Duffy
President of the Irish Trades Union Congress
Succeeded by
Denis Cullen
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