Alfred O’Rahilly (1884-1969)


Life
b. Listowel, Co. Kerry; b. of Thomas Francis O’Rahilly; ed. Blackrock College, a contemporary of de Valera; prepared for Jesuit priesthood but left; completed MA and PhD both at UCC, and became asst. lect. in mathematics, 1914, and then professor; joined Sinn Féin and lead the Sinn Féin faction at UCC, opposing the then President Sir Bertram Windle, who departed for Canada in 1919; proposed Tomás MacCurtain as successor of Terence MacSwiney in to Cork Mayoralty; imprisoned on Spike Island, Jan.-June 1921; advisor to Irish Treaty delegates;
 
he accepted the Treaty, and was elected TD for Cork, 1922-24; represented Ireland at International Conference, Geneva, presiding at one of the commissions; estab. chair of Sociology; appt. Registrar of UCC, and promoted the Catholicity of the College; encouraged O'Faolain to bid for chair of English during transatlantic voyage, Sept. 1929, but later showed ambivalent support for his candidacy; appt. President of UCC, 1944-54; estab. Cork Univ. Press; worked on electrodynamics; contrib. The Dublin Review, and co-ed. Studies; ord. by Archbishop McQuaid, 1955, having resumed clerical studies on retirement; appt. domestic prelate, 1960; Patrick Rafroidi was a grandson. DIW DIB

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Works
Electromagnetics, A Discussion of Fundamentals (Dublin & Cork 1948); A Life of Fr. William Doyle, S.J., 1873-1917 (1920); Case for the Treaty (1922); Case for a Flour Tariff (1928); Thoughts on the Constitution (1937); Aquinas Versus Marx (1948); Gospel Studies 1: The Family at Bethane (1949); Gospel Meditations (1958).

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Commentary
Liam O’Dowd, ‘The Material Dimension: Irish Intellectuals and the Problem of Identity’, in Irish Review, No. 3 (1988): ‘Few modern university professors could approach the record of Cork’s Alfred O’Rahilly who could boast of publications on topics including money, Catholic social principles, electromagnetics, flour milling and gospel meditation.’ (p.13.)

See also John A. Murphy, ‘O’Faolain and U.C.C.’, in The Irish Review, 26 (Autumn 2000), pp.38-50.

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References
Hyland Books (Oct. 1995) lists Alfred O’Rahilly, The Case for a Flour Tariff (1928), 38pp.

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