Etchingham was born at Ballintray, close to Courtown Harbour in 1870. Prior to the Rising, he became a journalist with The Echo newspaper. He was an active member of the GAA and was Chairman of Wexford county board on two occasions, 1902-1904 and 1919-1922. He was heavily involved with the Rising in Enniscorthy. He joined the 3rd Battalion of the North Wexford Brigade, and became a captain. He was one of two Enniscorthy officers that were escorted to Dublin to receive the official surrender order from Pearse. He was courtmartialled in Kilmainham jail, where he was sentenced to death. This was later changed to a sentence of penal servitude. He was imprisoned in both Dartmoor and Lewes prisons and released in 1917. He was re-imprisoned in 1918 for his role in what was called the ‘German Plot’, which aimed to get German support for the rebels in Ireland, and attempting to import weapons. He was imprisoned in Lincoln jail in England, along with future president of Ireland, Éamonn de Valera, who looked after Etchingham when he became ill in prison. Etchingham was elected as a Sinn Féin M.P. in the 1918 General Election and as a Teachta Dála (T.D.) for Wicklow East and Wexford during the years of 1918 to 1922. He became the first Director for Fisheries in 1919 until 1921, then Secretary for Fisheries from 1921 to 1922. He supported the anti-Treaty side during the Civil War, and was arrested and put in prison in 1923. He died due to ill health on 23 April 1923, at Courtown Harbour, and was buried at Ardamine Cemetery.