James Ryan

James Ryan, born on 6 December 1892 at Tomcoole, Taghmon, was a final year medical student at University College Dublin in 1916. He was a co-founder of the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and joined the IRB the following year. During the 1916 Rising in Dublin, he was the medical officer in the General Post Office (GPO) and was one of the last of the insurgents to leave the building when the evacuation took place. Following the surrender of the Volunteers, he was deported to Stafford jail and subsequently detained at Frongoch. On his release from Frongoch in August 1916, he completed his final medical exams and set up practice in Wexford town. In June 1917, he was appointed Commandant of the Wexford Battalion of the Irish Volunteers. His political career began when he was elected as a Sinn Féin candidate for the Wexford South constituency in the 1918 General Election. During the War of Independence, he was promoted to Brigade Commandant of South Wexford and was elected vice-chairman to Wexford County Council on 18 June 1920. His political career was impressive and he subsequently served as a minister in many Irish governments including as Minister for Agriculture in 1932, Minister for Health and Social Welfare in 1947 and Minister for Finance in 1957. He retired as a TD at the 1965 general election and was elected to Seanad Éireann shortly afterwards where he served until 1969 before retiring to his farm near Delgany, County Wicklow. He died on 25 September 1970.