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James Everett

For other people named James Everett, see James Everett (disambiguation).

James Everett (1 May 1894 – 18 December 1967) was an Irish politician.[1] On leaving school Everett became an organiser with County Wicklow Agricultural Union, which later merged with the ITGWU. He was a member of Sinn Féin and served as a justice in the Republican courts for Kildare and Wicklow from 1919. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1923 as a Labour Party TD for Wicklow.[2] Everett was one of the six TDs who left the Labour Party in 1944 because of its alleged infiltration by communists, and formed the National Labour Party. Everett became the leader of the new party.

In 1948 the National Labour Party joined the Cabinet of John A. Costello in the First Inter-Party Government and Everett was appointed Minister for Posts and Telegraphs. In 1950 Everett, as Minister for Posts and Telegraphs became involved in a bizarre incident known as the "Battle of Baltinglass." Everett appointed Michael Farrell as sub-postmaster in the local post office. The office had been run by Helen Cooke for her invalid aunt, whose family had held the position since 1870. Local feeling ran high in support of Cooke, with telegraph poles being cut to prove their point. Allegations of political jobbery were denied but Everett's actions became a national issue. Farrell resigned in December 1950 and Everett bowed to the pressure and appointed Cooke. It is believed that the Baltinglass affair contributed to the downfall of the Inter-Party government in 1951.[3]

Also in 1950, during the First Inter-Party Government's tenure, the Labour Party and the National Labour Party reunited. Everett served in government again between 1954 and 1957 as Minister for Justice and in that capacity he granted Albert Luykx Irish citizenship. Everett died aged 78, during the 1967 Dáil Christmas Recess, when with 44 years service as a TD, he was joint Father of the Dáil with Frank Aiken and Paddy Smith.

References

Political offices
New political party Leader of the National Labour Party
1944–1950
Succeeded by
Party disbanded
Preceded by
Patrick Little
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs
1948–1951
Succeeded by
Erskine H. Childers
Preceded by
Gerald Boland
Minister for Justice
1954–1957
Succeeded by
Oscar Traynor

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