Joseph Gillis Biggar(1828-1890), Irish politician; MP for Cavan
Sitter in 3 portraits
An Irish Nationalist politician who was prominent in the Home Rule League and served as an Irish Parliamentary Party MP from 1874 until his death. Joe Biggar is perhaps best remembered for introducing in 1874 a new, more aggressive form of obstructionism in the House of Commons than had previously existed. Obstructionism refers to the deliberate interference with the progress of legislation, and can be achieved in a number of ways. In Biggar's case it involved giving long speeches to delay passage (also known as filibustering) of Irish coercion acts and generally obstructing the business of the House in order to force the Liberals and Conservatives to negotiate with Irish nationalists.
by Sydney Prior Hall
pencil, published in The Graphic 11 March 1889
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