Tom O'Higgins, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Date of Death


Tom O'Higgins

Irish Fine Gael politician, barrister and judge

Date of Birth: 23-Jul-1916

Place of Birth: Cork, Munster, Ireland

Date of Death: 23-Jul-2003

Profession: judge, politician, barrister

Nationality: Ireland

Zodiac Sign: Leo

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About Tom O'Higgins

  • Thomas Francis O'Higgins (23 July 1916 – 25 February 2003) was an Irish Fine Gael politician, barrister and judge who served as Chief Justice of Ireland from 1974 to 1985, a Judge of the Supreme Court from 1974 to 1985, a Judge of the European Court of Justice from 1985 to 1991, a Judge of the High Court from 1973 to 1974, Deputy Leader of Fine Gael from 1972 to 1977 and Minister for Health from 1954 to 1957.O'Higgins was born in Cork in 1916, and came from the influential political family of O'Higgins.
  • He was the son of Thomas F.
  • O'Higgins and the nephew of Kevin O'Higgins.
  • He was educated at St Mary's College, Dublin, Clongowes Wood College and University College Dublin, where he became auditor of the Literary and Historical Society.
  • He later attended King's Inns.
  • In 1938, he qualified as a barrister and was called to the Bar.
  • In 1954, he was called to the Inner Bar. O'Higgins was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fine Gael TD for the Leix–Offaly constituency at the 1948 general election.
  • On the same day his brother, Michael O'Higgins, was also elected a TD.
  • In the Second Inter-Party Government (1954–57) O'Higgins was appointed Minister for Health.
  • During his period as Minister for Health he introduced the Voluntary Health Insurance Board (VHI).
  • During the 1960s, O'Higgins worked closely with Garret FitzGerald and Declan Costello in re-shaping Fine Gael.
  • O'Higgins was chosen as the Fine Gael candidate in the 1966 presidential election.
  • He faced the incumbent President and Fianna Fáil candidate Éamon de Valera.
  • O'Higgins came within 1% of beating de Valera, which was much better than he had hoped. In 1973, O'Higgins was again chosen once again as the Fine Gael candidate in the presidential election.
  • This time he faced former Fianna Fáil Tánaiste and Minister, Erskine H.
  • Childers.
  • Childers was elected by 52% to 48%. Shortly afterwards O'Higgins was appointed a Judge of the High Court.
  • In 1974, after the sudden death of Chief Justice William FitzGerald, O'Higgins, although the most junior High Court judge, was chosen to replace him as Chief Justice of Ireland in the Supreme Court and a Judge of the Supreme Court.
  • After the sudden death of Erskine H.
  • Childers, O'Higgins, in his role as Chief Justice swore in Cearbhall Ă“ Dálaigh as President of Ireland.
  • He was Chief Justice until 1985, when he was appointed a Judge of the European Court of Justice.
  • He remained there until 1991. O'Higgins died on 25 February 2003, at the age of 86.

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