Thomas Higgins (Irish politician)

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For other uses, see Thomas Higgins.

Thomas Higgins (died 26 January 1906) was an Irish nationalist politician and auctioneer, who as member of the Irish Parliamentary Party was posthumously declared elected Member of Parliament of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1906.

Higgins, originally from Monivea, who was chairman of Tuam Board of Guardians and a member of Galway County Council, was selected as the Irish Parliamentary Party candidate by the United Irish League (UIL) convention on 5 January 1906 to contest the 1906 general election. He had been President of the constituency branch of the UIL since 1900.

Taken ill on the night of the election (25 January 1906), he died as the result of a heart attack in Guy's Hotel, Tuam, at 1.30am the following morning (26 January 1906).

As was widely expected, Higgins topped the poll at the election count, which was held later on the day of his death, beating the incumbent MP, John Philip Nolan, who had stood as an Independent Nationalist. Higgins, who received 2,685 votes (Nolan took 1,064), was posthumously declared elected by the county sheriff, the returning officer.[1][2]

The remarkable circumstances surrounding the election led the Irish Independent to comment that "candidates have died before the actual election, but we doubt if ever such a case as the present has occurred before, where a candidate has died after the poll has been taken and before the result has been declared".[3]

This circumstance occurred again to Noel Skelton in 1935, and to Sir Edward Taswell Campbell and Leslie Pym in 1945; however, all of them were candidates for re-election. Thomas Higgins is the only MP to be newly elected posthumously.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Deceased Candidate Elected", Irish Independent, 27 January 1906, p. 4.
  2. ^ Irish Times, 27 January 1906, p. 6
  3. ^ "Irish Election Sensation", Irish Independent, 26 January 1906.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Philip Nolan
MP for North Galway
26 January 1906
Succeeded by
Richard Hazleton