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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Members of the Sixth Dáil - Thomas Francis O'Higgins, Sr.

Thomas F. O'Higgins (1890 – 1 November 1953) was an Irish politician.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 in a 14 March 1929 by-election for Dublin North as a Cumann na nGaedheal Teachta Dála (TD), and in the 1932 general election for Laois–Offaly as a Fine Gael deputy. From the 1948 general election, he represented Cork Borough.

He was the founder of the Army Comrades Association, commonly referred to as the Blueshirts, Ireland's quasi-fascist organisation. 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. His sons, Tom O'Higgins and Michael O'Higgins, were also members of the Dáil, the former serving in government and a candidate for President of Ireland, and as Chief Justice of Ireland 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.

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