Thomas Finlay (judge)

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For other people named Thomas Finlay, see Thomas Finlay (disambiguation).

Thomas Aloysius Finlay (born 17 September 1922)[1] is an Irish former Fine Gael politician and was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1985 to 1994. He is the second son of Thomas Finlay, a politician and senior counsel whose career was cut short by his early death in 1932. He was educated at Clongowes Wood College, University College Dublin (UCD) and King's Inns. While in UCD, he was elected Auditor of the University College Dublin Law Society. He was called to the Bar in 1944 and to the Inner Bar in 1961.[2] He was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin South-Central constituency at the 1954 general election.[3] He lost his seat at the 1957 general election.[4]

In 1971 he was appointed a Judge of the High Court and was appointed President of the High Court in 1974. He served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1985 to 1994. He is a member of a legal family: his father and brother William were both Senior Counsels as is his son John; both his brother-in-law John Blayney and his son-in-law Hugh Geoghegan were judges of the Supreme Court (as was Hugh's father James Geoghegan) and his daughter Mary Finlay Geoghegan was a judge of the High Court and is now a judge of the Court of Appeal.


  1. ^ Europa Publications (1997). The international who's who, 1997-98 (61 ed.). Europa Publications. p. 48. ISBN 1857430220. 
  2. ^ "Former Chief Justices". The Supreme Court of Ireland. Retrieved 27 November 2008. 
  3. ^ "Mr. Thomas Finlay". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 27 November 2008. 
  4. ^ "Thomas Finlay". Retrieved 27 November 2008. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Tom O'Higgins
Chief Justice of Ireland
Succeeded by
Liam Hamilton