Dail walk-out saved the Government
It was described as one of the greatest sensations of early
political life in this country.
Deputy John Jinks from Sligo caused a political bombshell
by abstaining in a crucial no confidence vote which would
have brought down the Cosgrave Government on Tuesday August
The Government hung on with the casting vote of the Ceann
Comhairle but in reality it was the Sligomans abstention
that saved the day for Cosgrave.
Jinks, a National League Deputy, was the centre of
wild speculation that he had been kidnapped to keep him
from voting. Rumours swept the country and headlines such
as, The Mystery of Deputy Jinks, the missing deputy
screamed from several newspapers not only in the U.K. and
The sensational affair began when Jinks walked out of the
Dail chambers before the vote was about to be called and
he couldnt be found despite a frantic search by colleagues.
There was consternation amongst the opposition who had been
confident that the Government would fall.
Jinks was later tracked to a hotel at Harcourt Street having
spent the day strolling through the streets of Dublin.
He told reporters he had gone to Dublin with instruction
from two thirds of his supporters to vote for the Government.
I was neither kidnapped nor spirited away. I simply
walked out of the Dail when I formed my own opinion after
listening to a good many speeches.
I cannot understand the sensation nor can I understand
the meaning or object of the many reports circulated. What
I did was done after careful consideration of the entire
I have nothing to regret for my action. I am glad
I was the single individual who saved the situation for
the Government, and perhaps, incidentally, for the country.
I believe I acted for its good, said Deputy Jinks.
The Sligo deputy arrived home on Wednesday night by the
midnight mail train. A large crowd greeted his arrival.
He spent the following morning receiving callers including
one proclaiming him The Ruler of Ireland.
Fianna Fails Sean Lemass concurred;
It is for him to throw out the Free State Government
when he chooses. It is a John Jinks Government,
The Cosgrave Government clung to power until September 1927
when a General Election was called.
Alderman Jinks went forward as an independent, suffered
a 40 per cent drop in his vote and was defeated.
John Jinks was also involved in controversy in his hometown
in 1934 during a Mayoral election.
There was a tie between himself and Ald Nevin a situation
normally dealt with now by a draw from the hat but Ald,
Jinks being senior Alderman, claimed a casting vote and
elected himself Mayor.
Alderman Jinks died on September 11th 1934 and is buried
at the Old Cemetery.
By Paul Deering and Harry Keaney
Courtesy of The Sligo Champion