Michael Patrick O'Hickey was born in Carrickbeg, County Waterford, Ireland. He studied for the priesthood in St. John's College, Waterford, and was ordained a priest in 1884. He was an active member of the Gaelic League and studied under the noted Irish scholar Sean Plemion.
In 1896 he was appointed professor of Irish in Maynooth College, succeeding Fr. Eugene O'Growney.
He clashed with the Bishops and establishment and was dismissed in 1909 from his position as Professor of Irish, for his conduct in the controversy over Irish as a matriculation subject for the new National University of Ireland.
He received support for many Irish Nationalist (including Patrick Pearse whom he earlier had disagreements with) and language activists and some of his colleagues such as the Theology Professor in Maynooth, Walter McDonald.
He appealed his dismissal to the Vatican, however his appeal was refused.
Sometimes his name appears as Michael Hickey rather than Micheal O'Hickey, or even in Irish as An tAthair Micheál O'hIcí.
He died in 1916 and is buried in the Friary Cemetery in Carrick Beg, Co. Waterford.
- Irish in the schools, by Ó hIcí, Micheál P., Gaelic League, 1900.
- The nationalisation of Irish education by Rev. M.P. O'Hickey, Gaelic League, 1902.
- An Irish university, or else by Michael P. O'Hickey, Gill & Sons, Dublin, 1909.
- Language and Nationality by O'Hickey, Rev. Michael.(Preface by Douglas Hyde) Waterford News, 1918.
- Canon Patrick Power A Talk by Msg. Michael G. Olden presented at Canon Patrick Power Seminar, WIT, 8th March 2012
- Drums under the Windows by Sean O'Casey, The Third Volume of O'Casey's memoirs, The Macmillan Company (New York 1950)
- Catholic Churchmen and the Celtic Revival in Ireland, 1848–1916 By Kevin Collins. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2004. Pp. 203.