Thomas F. O'Higgins

Thomas Francis O'Higgins (8 April 1890 – 1 November 1953) was an Irish Fine Gael politician and medical practitioner who served as Minister for Defence from 1948 to 1951, Minister for Industry and Commerce from March 1951 to June 1951 and Leader of the Opposition from January 1944 to June 1944. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1929 to 1932 and 1937 to 1953.[1]

Thomas F. O'Higgins
Minister for Defence
In office
18 February 1948  7 March 1951
TaoiseachJohn A. Costello
Preceded byOscar Traynor
Succeeded bySeán Mac Eoin
Minister for Industry and Commerce
In office
7 March 1951  13 June 1951
TaoiseachJohn A. Costello
Preceded byDaniel Morrissey
Succeeded bySeán Lemass
Leader of the Opposition
In office
11 January 1944  9 June 1944
PresidentDouglas Hyde
TaoiseachÉamon de Valera
Preceded byW. T. Cosgrave
Succeeded byRichard Mulcahy
Teachta Dála
In office
February 1948  1 November 1953
ConstituencyCork Borough
In office
July 1937  February 1948
In office
March 1929  February 1932
ConstituencyDublin North
Personal details
Thomas Francis O'Higgins

(1890-04-08)8 April 1890
Stradbally, County Laois, Ireland
Died1 November 1953(1953-11-01) (aged 63)
Dublin, Ireland
Political partyFine Gael
Spouse(s)Jane O'Higgins
(m. 1918; d. 1953)
Alma materUniversity College Dublin

He grew up in Stradbally, County Laois, one of sixteen children of Dr. Thomas Higgins and Anne Sullivan. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Cumann na nGaedheal TD for Dublin North at the 14 March 1929 by-election. At the 1932 general election he was elected for the Leix–Offaly constituency.[2] From the 1948 general election, he represented Cork Borough.[2]

He was the founder of the Army Comrades Association, commonly referred to as the Blueshirts. He became parliamentary leader of Fine Gael in 1944, while the former leader, Richard Mulcahy, was attempting to get elected to Seanad Éireann and retain his position.

In 1948, he joined the Cabinet of John A. Costello as Minister for Defence. He served as Minister for Industry and Commerce from March 1951 to June 1951. His sons Tom O'Higgins and Michael O'Higgins were also members of the Dáil, the former serving in government (and twice a candidate for President of Ireland) and as Chief Justice of Ireland from 1974-85. He was a brother of Kevin O'Higgins, the government minister assassinated in 1927.

O'Higgins died while still in office in 1953.

See also


  1. "Thomas Francis O'Higgins". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  2. "Dr Tom O'Higgins". Retrieved 2 May 2011.
Political offices
Preceded by
W. T. Cosgrave
Leader of the Opposition
January–June 1944
Succeeded by
Richard Mulcahy
Preceded by
Oscar Traynor
Minister for Defence
Succeeded by
Seán Mac Eoin
Preceded by
Daniel Morrissey
Minister for Industry and Commerce
March–June 1951
Succeeded by
Seán Lemass
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