Image courtesy of UCD Archives. University Photograph Collection. UPH12/1
1867 –1946 was a politician and university professor. Born in Belfast, he was educated at Belvedere College, Dublin, and University College Dublin where he was a pupil of brilliant Jesuit philophoser and economist Rev T Finlay. In 1893 he was called to the Bar. He was professor of philosopher at Carysfort College and he held the Chair of Metaphysics at University College Dublin. Magennis was first elected to Dáil Éireann as an independent Teachta Dála (TD) for the National University of Ireland constituency at the 1922 general election. He was elected as a Cumann na nGaedhael TD for the same o-Treaty Dail. In 1926, he was one of the founders of a new political party called Clann Éireann. The party advocated the abolition of the Oath of Allegiance to the British King, called for lower taxes and less legislation and was critical of the report of the Boundary Commission. The party attracted little support and it did not win any seats at the June 1927 general election, including the loss of Magennis' seat. He was nominated by the Taoiseach to the second Seanad in 1938 and served as an independent member until his death in 1946. Speaking during the debate of the 1923 Censorship of Films Act, which was one of the first pieces of significant legislation to be passed by the Irish Free State. Magennis declared: "Purity of mind and sanity of outlook upon life were long ago regarded as characteristic of our people. The loose views and the vile lowering of values that belong to other races and other peoples were being forced upon our people through the popularity of the cinematograph". Archbishop John Charles McQuaid reckoned that Magennis “at all times and on many questions fearlessly maintained the Catholic teaching of Faith and Morals”. In 1945 he represented the Archbishop of Dublin at the Newman Centenary Conference in the UK. Amongst his official positions were membership of Commissions on Intermediate Primary Education and of the Commission which prepared the establishment of the Senate. He was the first Chairman of the Film Appeals Board and the Greater Dublin Commission. He was a member of the Contemporary Club in Lincoln Place. He is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery. (References Irish times Obituary Appreciation and “John Charles McQuaid: Ruler of Catholic Ireland” John Cooney, O’Brien Press, 1999).