Entertainer and 1916 veteran - Sean Etchingham's road to the Dáil
At fifty years of age, Wexford-born journalist Sean Etchingham was elected TD for East Wicklow in the 1918 general election. Founder and the first secretary of the Gorey branch of the Gaelic League, he served on both the county and national boards of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Etchingham was a strong supporter of the labour movement and a well-known humourist and singer at local concerts. Arrested in 1916 for his prominent role in the occupation of Enniscorthy during the Easter Rising, his sentence of death was commuted to five years imprisonment. He would be imprisoned again in 1918 as part of the German Plot round-up before being elected as Sinn Féin candidate for East Wicklow in the 1918 general election.