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Clann na Talmhan
Founder & Leader Michael Donnellan (1938–1944)
Leader Joseph Blowick (1944–1965)
Founded 1938
Dissolved 1965
Ideology Agrarianism
Politics of the Republic of Ireland
Political parties

Clann na Talmhan [kˠłan̪ˠ n̪ˠə t̪ˠałuːnˠ] (English: Offspring of the Land), abbreviated CnaT, was an Irish agrarian political party active between 1938 and 1965.

Clann na Talmhan was founded in 1938 in Athenry, County Galway, its chief aim being to give a parliamentary voice to the farmers of Ireland. Its foundation represented a revival of agrarian politics in the Irish Free State; from 1922 to 1933, a series of parties had represented farming interests, namely the Farmers' Party and the National Centre Party. However, these groups mostly attracted large farmers in the east. In contrast, Clann na Talmhan appealed explicitly to the more numerous small farmers of the west of Ireland. The party's objectives included the promotion of the interests of small farmers, call for government support for land reclamation, lowering of taxes on farmlands and more intensive afforestation. The party was founded and led by Galway farmer Michael Donnellan.

Early organisation was hindered by wartime restrictions on public meetings and the press. On the other hand, the party did have five years to prepare for its first election. Clann na Talmhan first entered national politics when it contested the 1943 general election. On that occasion, the party won ten seats. This was reduced to nine the following year. Donnellan resigned as leader following the election and was replaced by Joseph Blowick, another western farmer. The party became a prominent participant in the first inter-party government (1948–1951), with Blowick serving as Minister for Lands and Donnellan becoming a Parliamentary Secretary. The party also went on to become a component of the second inter-party government, with Blowick and Donnellan reprising their ministerial roles. However, this period saw a retrenchment rather than expansion of the party, which did not expand its support beyond western and southern small farmers. Like their spiritual predecessors, Clann na Talmhan could not unite small and large farmers in one party, and this restricted its electoral appeal.

The party began to lose its position after being in government, as people again began to vote for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael rather than small parties. By 1961, Donnellan and Blowick were the only party TDs remaining, and the party ceased to exist as an organisation independent of those men. When Donnellan died in 1964, his son was elected, but for Fine Gael rather than his father's party. Blowick decided not to contest the 1965 general election, and the nominal existence of the party came to an end.

See also


  • Maurice Fitzgerald, 2000. “Ireland's European Integration, 1957 to 1966.” In Protectionism to Liberalization: Ireland and the EEC, 1957 to 1966. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate. Open Access Copy
  • Barberis, Peter, John McHugh and Mike Tyldesley, 2005. Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organisations. London: Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 0826458149, 9780826458148
  • Manning, Maurice, 1972. Irish Political Parties: An Introduction. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan. ISBN 978-0717105366


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