Plunkett, Sir Horace Curzon, 1854–1932, Irish statesman and agricultural reformer. Educated in England, Plunkett spent 10 years (1879–89) in Wyoming as a cattle rancher. Returning to Ireland, he became an ardent exponent of farming cooperatives. His work was highly important in the face of the serious agrarian problems of Ireland (see Irish Land Question). He founded (1894) the Irish Agricultural Organization Society and as a member of Parliament (1892–1900) drafted legislation for Irish agricultural needs. From 1900 to 1907 he was vice president of the new department of agriculture for Ireland. He was a prominent mediator in the Irish uprisings prior to and during World War I, serving (1917–18) as chairman of the Irish convention founded to effect a peaceful settlement of the outbreaks. He wrote Ireland in the New Century (1904), The Rural Life Problem in the United States (1910), and numerous pamphlets.
See study by R. A. Anderson (1935); biography by M. Digby (1949).
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