Michael Tierney (1894-1975)


Life
b. on small farm at Ballymacward, Co. Galway; awarded travelling studentship to UCD; classics at Sorbonne, Athens, and Berlin; dept. of Classics, UCD, 1915; Prof. of Greek, 1923; Cumann na nGaedheal, TD for N. Mayo, 1925; NUI TD, 1927-32; elected to Senate, 1938; vice-chairman of Senate, 1939-44; president of UCD, 1947-1964; leading apologist for the Blueshirts (Irish fascists), with Dr J. J. Hogan; contrib. to United Ireland and The Blueshirt; published article in Studies debunking George Russell, 1934;
 

contrib. ‘Nationalism and Revolution’ to Studies (June 1939); covered European politics from a slightly pro-Axis standpoint in Studies from 1940; Tierney gave shelter to Peter, son of Dr. Hugo Friedjung, who with his wife were exterminated by the Nazis; issued A Tribute to Newman (1945); he took part in the controversy surrounding O’Faolain’s life of Daniel O’Connell originating in Studies (1938) and issued Daniel O’Connell (1949); also ed. with F. X. Martin, Eoin MacNeill (1981); ed. Euripides’s Hecuba (1946). DIB FDA

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Works
Commentary
  • Education in a Free Ireland (Dublin: Martin Lester [1920]), 98pp.;
  • “Ireland the Corporate State”, in United Ireland (16 Dec. 1933);
  • Some Aspects of the Social Structure of a Corporative State [Fine Gael Policy Ser.] (1934), 18pp.;
  • ‘Politics and Culture: Daniel O’Connell and the Gaelic Past’, in Studies, 27 (Sept. 1938), pp.353-68.
  • Tribute to Newman: Essays on aspects of his Life and Thought (Dublin: Browne & Nolan 1945);
  • with others, Daniel O’Connell: Nine Centenary Essays (Dublin: Browne & Nolan 1949);
  • Newman’s Doctrine of University Education (UCD 1952);
  • Struggle with Fortune, a Miscellany for the Centenary of the Catholic University of Ireland 1854-1954 (Dublin: Browne & Nolan 1954);
  • contrib. to F. X. Martin, ed., Eoin MacNeill, Scholar and Man of Action 1867-1945 (OUP 1980).
 
Miscellaneous
  • Ed. [Horace,] Carminum Lib. III / Q. Horati Flacci, ed. with notes and vocabulary by John Gallagher, with an introductory chapter on the metres of Horace by Professor Michael Tierney (Dublin: Browne & Nolan 1944), xxvi, 262pp.
  • ‘Lugh and Dionysius’, in Éigse, x, p.265

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Criticism
Martin Tierney, A Classicist’s Outlook: Michael Tierney, KSG, MA, DLitt 1874-1975: A Life and Essays (Marlborough Rd. [the author] 2002), 252pp., ill.

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Quotations
Ireland the Corporate State”, in United Ireland (16 Dec. 1933): ‘From the philosophic standpoint there could be nothing funnier than the spectacle of a piebald and, in general, unintelligent and uneducated assembly of public representatives, chosen by most defective methods, claiming, or having thrust upon it, the whole enormously complicated and very subtle task of conducting the march of a complicated and subtle civilisation […] It is a complete mistake to suppose that Italian fascism is merely a crude individual or party dictatorship.’ [Cont.]

Ireland the Corporate State”, in United Ireland (16 Dec. 1933): quotes from Quadragesimo Anno of Pius XI, ‘the aim of social legislation must therefore be the re-establishment of vocational groups’, and continues: ‘The whole civilised world is being driven to face the necessity of some third course between the individualism which produces Kreugers and the Communism which produces Lenins […] the Corporate State must come in the end, in Ireland as elsewhere’ and enjoins Irish people to ‘fearlessly and intelligently undertake its cause.’ (Extract in Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Derry: Field Day 1991, Vol. 3, pp.760-62).

Politics and Culture: Daniel O’Connell and the Gaelic Past’, in Studies, 27, 107 (Sept. 1938): "Democracy is no substitute for culture, and much of what is most precious and of highest quality in past civilisations was in fact the result of their enthusiastic devotion to, and attempt to recover, literary, linguistic, and artistic traditions that were not always genuinely ancestral to them.", [See further extracts under Seán O’Faoláin > Commentary - infra. ]

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References
Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 3, p.532; [Tierney, with Costello and McQuaid, arranges stipend for annual lectures at UCD]; p.684 [attraction to Italian fascism represented by extract below.] Intro.: Tierney among those who attempted to apply ideas in Quadragesimo Anno, the papal corporatist/fascist document, to Irish conditions, in “Ireland the Corporate State”, in United Ireland (16 Dec. 1933) [760-62; see Quotations, supra.]. BIOG. & WORKS, p.811.

COPAC lists Education in a free Ireland (Dublin: Martin Lester [1920]), 98pp., 8o.

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Notes
Account of his triumphalist addition [?] to Trinity College, Dublin (TCD) given in Denis Donoghue, We Irish: The Selected Essays, I (London: Brighton: Harvester Press 1986), p.173, cited in Edna Longley, The Living Stream: Literature and Revisionism in Ireland (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Bloodaxe 1994), p.14-15.

Kith & Kin (1): Mark Tierney OSB [1925- ; Glenstal Abbey] - presum. a son. - has issued Christmas (Catholic Truth Society 1961), 23pp.; with Margaret MacCurtain, The Birth of Modern Ireland (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1969), 248pp.; Blessed Columba Marmion, OSB (Dublin: Columba Press 2000), 150pp., ports.

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Kith & Kin?: (2): J. J. Tierney is the author of ‘The Celtic Ethnography of Posidonius’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 60 C, 5 (1960), pp.189–275 - translations from Strabo's redaction of which are quoted in Chadwick and Dillon, The Celtic Realms (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1967), p.7ff. See also bibl. reference in Answers.com, “Posidonius” [online; 09.10.2009].

Namesake (1): A certain M. A. Tierney wrote histories of the Chruch of England, of which he was a Canon (fl.1860). His library catalogue was advertised for auction by Sotheby and Wilkinson in 1862.

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