Irish language activist and newspaper editor - Ernest Blythe's road to the Dáil
An Armagh native and noted Irish language revivalist, Earnest Blythe joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) in Dublin in 1906. He returned to the North as a journalist for the North Down Herald and became an effective propagandist and organiser for the Irish Volunteers in Ulster. He was arrested and was in prison in England during the Easter Rising in 1916.
Despite instructions from the authorities to remain in South Antrim after his release, Blythe went as far as Skibbereen, in west Cork to edit the Southern Star (formerly the Skibbereen Eagle) which came under Sinn Féin control. At just twenty-eight, Blythe was elected to the executive of Sinn Féin at the October convention, and would go on to successfully win the seat for Monaghan North in the 1918 general election.