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O'Higgins - Ó hUigin - d'Eguino

Uí hUigin - Ó hUigin - O'Higgins - Higgins

History

Kevin O'Higgins of Stradbally

Kevin O'Higgins was born in Stradbally Co. Laois in 1892. His family had resettled there after leaving Athboy in Co. Meath. He was educated briefly for the priesthood but left to follow a career in law instead.

By 1818 he had joined Sinn Féin and was imprisoned for nationalistic activity. While he was in prison he was elected as Member of Parliament for "Queen's County" or Co. Laois. Later, in 1919 he was elected to the 1st Dáil Éireann and appointed as Minister for Local Government. He held this office throughout the War of Independence. Upon the signing of the Treaty he remained on the government side and in 1922 he was re-elected to Dáil Éireann and appointed as Minister for Justice.

During the Civil War he took a hard line with the opponents of the Treaty fearing a prolonged war would de-stablise the newly established Irish Free State. In 1923 after the Civil War had ended, O'Higgins set about establishing an unarmed police force which became known as An Garda Siochána. However, due to his tough approach to the anti-treaty soldiers during the Civil War O'Higgins retained more than one enemy and on the 10 July 1927 he was assassinated as he walked to Church on Booterstown Avenue in Dublin.

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