Arthur Griffith

Arthur Griffith - Public domain
Arthur Griffith - Public domain

Arthur Griffith (1871-1922) was an Irish politician who was involved throughout his career in the fight for the creation of the Irish Free State. Founder of Sinn Féin, and a founding member of the IRA, Arthur Griffith is a figure celebrated throughout Ireland to this day.

Biography of Arthur Griffith

A Nationalist at the origin of the creation of the IRA

Arthur Griffith was born in 1871 into an already highly politicized family, marked by British domination. As soon as he came of age, he presented himself as a fervent nationalist and was convinced that communication was the best way to get the population to adhere to the nationalist conviction. He therefore created several newspapers supporting the nationalist cause.

As early as 1905, he founded Sinn Féin, a political party aimed at fighting against the British occupation. He led Sinn Féin for several long years until 1918, when he finally gave up his seat to Éamon de Valera.

In 1921, he was ordered to travel to London with Michael Collins to negotiate a treaty with the British government. He signed the Treaty on December 6, 1921, provoking a real civil war in Ireland between the Pro-Treaty and Anti-Treaty parties.

Griffith soon became leader of the Pro-Treaty, with Michael Collins, and coordinated with the various stages to create an Irish Free State. He founded a provisional government and was appointed head of the Eireann Dàil.

As his influence continued to grow, he died on 12 August 1922 of a stroke.