William T. Cosgrave

Key Personality – William Cosgrave

William T. Cosgrave

William Cosgrave was born in Dublin in 1880.

He joined Sinn Fein in 1905.

He joined the Irish Volunteers and took part in the Easter Rising. He was sentenced to be executed but this was changed to life imprisonment.

Cosgrave became Minister for Local Government in the First Dail.

Cosgrave supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

When Michael Collins was killed during the Civil War he took over as Chairman of the Provisional Government. Cosgrave took a hard line against the anti-Treaty side in the Civil War and introduced laws to allow for the internment and execution of republican prisoners.

Cosgrave founded Cumann na nGaedheal in 1923 and was elected President of the Executive until 1932.

He played a prominent role in building the new state, helping to establish a new police and court system and local government.

Cograve was also credited for ensuring the smooth transition of power to Fianna Fail in 1932.

He was very conservative and was criticised for not improving housing, education or welfare.

Cosgrave died in 1965.

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