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George Noble Plunkett or Count Plunkett (Irish: An Cunta Pluinc√©ad; 3 December 1851 ‚Äď 12 March 1948) was an Irish nationalist and father of Joseph Mary Plunkett, one of the leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916.[1]

Born in Dublin, Plunkett spent much time abroad, notably studying in Nice, France, and throughout Italy. In 1877 he was created a Papal Count by Pope Leo XIII for his building work for the Papacy near Rome.[2]

From 1907 to 1916 he was curator of the National Museum in Dublin.[3] His interest in politics likely came mostly through his sons, Joseph, George and John, though it was following the execution of Joseph that he became radicalised (it is likely that Joseph swore him into the Irish Republican Brotherhood some time before he was shot). He was expelled from the Royal Dublin Society for his son's role in the Easter Rising.

In 1917, in Sinn Fein's first parliamentary victory, Plunkett won the seat of Roscommon North in a by-election. After his election, he made the decision to abstain from Westminster. He was re-elected in the 1918 general election and joined the First Dáil, in which he served briefly as Ceann Comhairle. Following the Irish War of Independence, he joined the anti-treaty side, and continued to support Sinn Féin after the split with Fianna Fáil.[4]

In a 1936 by-election in the Galway constituency, Plunkett ran as a joint Cumann Poblachta na h√Čireann/Sinn F√©in candidate. Losing his deposit, he polled 2,696 votes (a 2.1% share).[5]In 1938 he was one of the former members of the Second D√°il that assigned a claimed residual sovereign power to the IRA, a process known as Irish republican legitimatism.

He was married to Mary Josephine Cranny and they had seven children.[3] He died at the age of 96 in Ireland.


Political offices
Preceded by
Cathal Brugha
Ceann Comhairle of D√°il √Čireann
22 January 1919
Succeeded by
Se√°n T. O'Kelly
New office Minister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Arthur Griffith


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