Michael Tierney (politician)

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For other people named Michael Tierney, see Michael Tierney (disambiguation).

Michael Tierney (30 September 1894 – 10 May 1975) was Professor of Greek at University College Dublin (UCD) from 1923 to 1947 and President of UCD between 1947 and 1964, and was also a Cumann na nGaedheal politician.[1]


Tierney was born in 1894 in Ballymacward, County Galway. He was educated at UCD where he won a National University of Ireland (NUI) travelling studentship. He studied classics at the Sorbonne, Athens and Berlin. He was appointed to a lectureship in classics in 1915 and to the Professorship of Greek in 1923.

Tierney was elected a Cumann na nGaedheal Teachta Dála (TD) for Mayo North in a by-election in 1925 and for the NUI constituency in 1927, a seat he held until 1932.[2]

Tierney came to corporatism through a study of Catholic social thought, and through an analysis of continental systems of corporatism, particularly those of Portugal and Austria. He was an early member of the Army Comrades Association (later known as the Blueshirts) and, along with Ernest Blythe, encouraged Eoin O'Duffy to become the leader. Tierney suggested the name "Fine Gael" for the new coalition between his party, the Centre Party and the Blueshirts.[3]

He was a member of Seanad Éireann from 1938 to 1944.[1]

He was the prime mover behind the transfer of UCD to its present site at Belfield. He married Eibhlín MacNeill, daughter of Eoin MacNeill, and wrote a biography of his father-in-law, Eoin MacNeill: scholar and man of action (1980).


  1. ^ a b "Mr. Michael Tierney". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 8 February 2009. 
  2. ^ "Michael Tierney". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 8 February 2009. 
  3. ^ Maurice Manning, The Blueshirts, Dublin, 1970. p. 93

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