On This Day

Arthur Griffith

Irish Politician and Founder of Sinn Féin Arthur Griffith

Profession: Irish Politician and Founder of Sinn Féin

Nationality:
Ireland
Irish

Why Famous: Griffith was an Irish writer that was heavily involved in the Irish independence movement. He founded the political party Sinn Féin ("[We] Ourselves") in 1905.

While Griffith was not involved in the 1916 Easter Rising, he was arrested afterwards; from there he put effort into growing Sinn Féin, which came to play a major role in Irish politics.

When Sinn Féin won a major electoral victory in 1918, they refused to participate in the Westminster government and instead established their own parliament: the Dáil Éireann. Here Griffith served as Minister for Home Affairs from 1919–1921 and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1921–1922.

As chairman of the Irish delegation, Griffith signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty which established Ireland as a free state—but not as a republic. This precipitated the split which brought about the Irish Civil War—of which Griffith himself saw little, dying in the first few months.

Born: March 31, 1871
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland, United Kingdom
Star Sign: Aries

Died: August 12, 1922 (aged 51)
Cause of Death: Cerebral hemorrhage possibly due to overwork and the strain of long and difficult negotiations with the British

Historical Events

  • 1900-09-01 Cumann na nGaedheal (Irish Council) founded by Arthur Griffith in order to promote a buy Irish campaign
  • 1905-11-28 Arthur Griffith forms Sinn Féin in Dublin
  • 1922-01-15 Arthur Griffith is elected president of the Irish Free State after Eamon de Valera resigns in opposition to the Anglo-Irish Treaty (De Valera will lead a military opposition seeking a unified and independent Ireland)

Famous Irish People