An auctioneer and licensed grocer, he was elected to Dáil Éireann as Teachta Dála (TD) for the 7-seat Leitrim–Sligo constituency at the June 1927 general election as a representative of the National League Party.
He is most famous for having been absent, on 16 August 1927, from a crucial vote of motion of no confidence in the Executive Council. This resulted in a tied vote (71–71) and the government survived only because of the casting vote of the Ceann Comhairle (chairman). Many colourful stories have grown up over the years as to the means by which his absence from the voting lobbies was secured, although it seems most likely that it was, in fact, a deliberate expression of his political views. The proposed alternative government was a Labour Party/National League coalition, depending on the external support of Fianna Fáil.
- "John Jinks". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- "General Registrar's Office". IrishGenealogy.ie. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
- "John Jinks". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- "Dáil Éireann - Volume 20 - Public Business. - No Confidence Motion". Houses of the Oireachtas. 16 August 1927. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012.
- "Infamous Dail 'walk-out' saved the Government". Irish Identity. Retrieved 5 June 2015.