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 Kevin O' Higgins

Kevin Christopher O’Higgins (1892-1927), one of the outstanding personalities of modern Ireland, was born in Timogue, Stradbally, C.O. Laois, fourth son of the late Dr. Thomas F. O’Higgins. He received his early education at Portlaoise C.B.S. and subsequently studied at Clongowes, Knockbeg, and St.Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Having joined the Sinn Fein movement as a law-student of U.C.D. he was imprisoned in 1917 for a seditious speech. At the General Election of 1918 he was elected M.P. For Queens County and in the following year was appointed Assistant Minister for Local Government under Mr. W. T. Cosgrave in the Republican administration. Early in 1922 O’Higgins became Minister for Economic affairs in the post-treaty Provisional Government. Subsequently, in the free State Government he was vice President of the executive Council, Minister for Justice and Minister for External affairs, which offices he combined at the time of his early and tragic death in 1927.

By his work as administrator and negotiator he helped to lay the firm foundation of the Irish State. For ten years he served the Abraham Lincoln concept of government; and in those ten years he scaled the heights of statesmanship and martyrdom set the scale upon his claim to immortality. His monuments, self created, are many and lasting, for they are to be found among the vital organs of our modern Irish democracy.



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