Thomas Scanlan

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Thomas Scanlan (21 May 1874 – 9 January 1930) was an Irish barrister and nationalist politician. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for North Sligo from 1909 to 1918, as a member of the Irish Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.

Irish people Ethnic group with Celtic and other roots, native to the island of Ireland, with shared history and culture

The Irish are a Celtic nation and ethnic group native to the island of Ireland, who share a common Irish ancestry, identity and culture. Ireland has been inhabited for about 12,500 years according to archaeological studies. For most of Ireland's recorded history, the Irish have been primarily a Gaelic people. From the 9th century, small numbers of Vikings settled in Ireland, becoming the Norse-Gaels. Anglo-Normans conquered parts of Ireland in the 12th century, while England's 16th/17th-century (re)conquest and colonisation of Ireland brought many English and Lowland Scots people to parts of the island, especially the north. Today, Ireland is made up of the Republic of Ireland and the smaller Northern Ireland. The people of Northern Ireland hold various national identities including British, Irish, Northern Irish or some combination thereof.

Barrister lawyer specialized in court representation in Wales, England and some other jurisdictions

A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks include taking cases in superior courts and tribunals, drafting legal pleadings, researching the philosophy, hypothesis and history of law, and giving expert legal opinions. Often, barristers are also recognised as legal scholars.

Irish nationalism Political movement asserting the sovereignty of the Irish people

Irish nationalism is a nationalist political movement which asserts that the Irish people are a nation and espouses the creation of a sovereign Irish nation-state on the island of Ireland. Irish nationalism celebrates the culture of Ireland, especially the Irish language, literature, music, and sports. It grew more potent during the period in which all of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom, which led to most of the island seceding from the UK in 1921.

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Early life

Son of Thomas Scanlan, a farmer, he was born at Drumcliffe, County Sligo, and educated at Summerhill College in Sligo and at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. In 1905 he married Mary Helen Mullen of Glasgow, daughter of John Mullen.

Drumcliff Village in Connacht, Ireland

Drumcliff or Drumcliffe is a village in County Sligo, Ireland. It is 8 km north of Sligo town on the N15 road on a low gravel ridge between the mountain of Ben Bulben and Drumcliff bay. It is on the Drumcliff river, originally called the "Codnach", which drains Glencar Lake. Drumcliff is the resting place of the Irish poet W. B. Yeats

County Sligo County in the Republic of Ireland

County Sligo is a county in Ireland. It is located in the Border Region and is part of the province of Connacht. Sligo is the administrative capital and largest town in the county. Sligo County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county is 65,535 according to the 2016 census, making it the 3rd most populated county in the province, and 26th in the country. It is noted for Benbulben Mountain, one of Ireland’s most distinctive natural landmarks.

Summerhill College

Summerhill College is a Roman Catholic voluntary secondary school for boys located in the town of Sligo in northwest Ireland.

He began his career as a journalist on the Glasgow Observer. Later he became a solicitor and eventually was called to the English Bar and became prominently identified with the Irish movement in London.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom, and the largest city in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Political career

Scanlan was elected unopposed for North Sligo at a by-election in August 1909 after the death of Patrick McHugh MP. [1] and was unopposed in the January and December 1910 general elections. [2] At one time he served as a secretary of the Irish Parliamentary Party. In 1918 he lost his seat to J. J. Clancy of Sinn Féin, by a margin of more than two to one. [3]

The North Sligo by-election of 1909 was held on 5 August 1909. The by-election was held due to the death of the incumbent Irish Parliamentary MP, Patrick Aloysius McHugh. It was won by the Irish Parliamentary candidate Thomas Scanlan, who was unopposed.

January 1910 United Kingdom general election

The January 1910 United Kingdom general election was held from 15 January to 10 February 1910. The government called the election in the midst of a constitutional crisis caused by the rejection of the People's Budget by the Conservative-dominated House of Lords, in order to get a mandate to pass the budget.

December 1910 United Kingdom general election

The December 1910 United Kingdom general election was held from 3 to 19 December. It was the last general election to be held over several days and the last to be held prior to the First World War (1914–18).

Scanlan introduced the Sligo Corporation Act 1918 to use the single transferable vote (STV) for elections to Sligo Corporation, and to enhance the corporation's power to set rates. STV had been introduced in university constituencies by the Representation of the People Act 1918, and was envisaged for the Home Rule assembly of the Government of Ireland Act 1914 which never came into force. STV's success in Sligo saw it extended to all Ireland for the 1920 local elections.

Single transferable vote Proportional representation voting system

The single transferable vote (STV) is a voting system designed to achieve proportional representation through ranked voting in multi-seat organizations or constituencies. Under STV, an elector (voter) has a single vote that is initially allocated to their most preferred candidate. Votes are totalled and a quota derived. If their candidate achieves quota, he/she is elected and in some STV systems any surplus vote is transferred to other candidates in proportion to the voters' stated preferences. If more candidates than seats remain, the bottom candidate is eliminated with his/her votes being transferred to other candidates as determined by the voters' stated preferences. These elections and eliminations, and vote transfers if applicable, continue until there are only as many candidates as there are unfilled seats. The specific method of transferring votes varies in different systems.

Rates are a type of property tax system in the United Kingdom, and in places with systems deriving from the British one, the proceeds of which are used to fund local government. Some other countries have taxes with a more or less comparable role, like France's taxe d'habitation.

Representation of the People Act 1918

The Representation of the People Act 1918 was an Act of Parliament passed to reform the electoral system in Great Britain and Ireland. It is sometimes known as the Fourth Reform Act. The Act extended the franchise in parliamentary elections, also known as the right to vote, to men aged 21 and over, whether or not they owned property, and to women aged 30 and over who resided in the constituency or occupied land or premises with a rateable value above £5, or whose husbands did. At the same time, it extended the local government franchise to include women aged 21 and over on the same terms as men.

As a barrister, Scanlan represented the National Sailors' and Firemen's Union at the inquiry into the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. In the event the government paid the Union's costs, and on this account Scanlan was criticised in some quarters for accepting a government brief, although he had accepted the brief before he knew that the government would pay. [4] He was also criticised for living in England. [5] After his parliamentary defeat he was a London Metropolitan Police Magistrate from 1924 to 1927, [6] resigning due to ill-health. Afterwards he resumed his practice at the Bar.

RMS <i>Titanic</i> British transatlantic passenger liner, launched and foundered in 1912

RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1912 after the ship struck an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Of the estimated 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, more than 1,500 died, making it one of modern history's deadliest peacetime commercial marine disasters. RMS Titanic was the largest ship afloat at the time she entered service and was the second of three Olympic-class ocean liners operated by the White Star Line. She was built by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. Thomas Andrews, chief naval architect of the shipyard at the time, died in the disaster.

Magistrate Officer of the state, usually judge

The term magistrate is used in a variety of systems of governments and laws to refer to a civilian officer who administers the law. In ancient Rome, a magistratus was one of the highest ranking government officers, and possessed both judicial and executive powers. In other parts of the world, such as China, a magistrate was responsible for administration over a particular geographic area. Today, in some jurisdictions, a magistrate is a judicial officer who hears cases in a lower court, and typically deals with more minor or preliminary matters. In other jurisdictions, magistrates may be volunteers without formal legal training who perform a judicial role with regard to minor matters.

During his career he was a close friend of T. P. O'Connor, acting as a pall-bearer at the latter's funeral in 1929.

Notes

  1. Walker (1978), p.171
  2. Walker (1978), pp.372–373
  3. Walker (1978), p.190
  4. Maume (1999), p. 128
  5. Maume (1999), pp. 101, 132
  6. Who Was Who says 1925 to 1927, the Irish Independent 1924 to 1928

Sources

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
P. A. McHugh
Member of Parliament for North Sligo
19091918
Succeeded by
J. J. Clancy

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