Michael Ferris (politician)

Michael Ferris (21 November 1931 – 20 March 2000) was an Irish Labour Party politician who served for more than twenty years as a member of the Oireachtas, as both a Senator and a Teachta Dála (TD).[1] Before becoming a full-time politician, he was an administrator in a veterinary practice.[2]

Michael Ferris
Teachta Dála
In office
June 1989 – 20 March 2000
ConstituencyTipperary South
In office
8 October 1981 – 15 June 1989
In office
23 April 1975 – 27 October 1977
ConstituencyAgricultural Panel
Personal details
Born(1931-11-21)21 November 1931
Bansha, County Tipperary, Ireland
Died20 March 2000(2000-03-20) (aged 68)
Lisbon, Portugal
Political partyLabour Party
  • 1. Josephine Tobin
  • 2. Ellen Kiely

Ferris was from Bansha, County Tipperary.[3] There, in the 1950s, he came under the influence of Canon John Hayes, founder of Muintir na Tíre, and adopted many of his ideas for rural development embracing all sections of the community in an inclusive way.[citation needed] In 1967, he was elected to South Tipperary County Council. He was elected to the 13th Seanad by the Agricultural Panel in a by-election on 23 April 1975.[3] At the 1977 general election, he was an unsuccessful candidate for Dáil Éireann in the Tipperary South constituency, and was also defeated at the subsequent Seanad elections. He was re-elected in 1981 to the 15th Seanad, and returned again in 1982 and 1983.[4]

At the 1987 general election, Ferris unsuccessfully stood again in Tipperary South, but was afterwards re-elected to the 18th Seanad, again by the Agricultural Panel. In the 1989 election to the European Parliament he was defeated in the Munster constituency, trailing far behind his Labour colleague, Eileen Desmond, who narrowly missed a seat. However, polling for the 1989 general election was held on the same day, and he was finally elected to the Dáil, taking his seat in the 26th Dáil on his third attempt. He was re-elected at the 1992 general election and again at the 1997 general election, taking the last seat in each case.[2] He died suddenly while on parliamentary business in Lisbon on 20 March 2000.[3] The subsequent by-election for his Dáil seat was held on 2 June and won by an independent candidate, Séamus Healy.[5]

Personal life


Ferris championed the rural agricultural economy and was Chairman of the Bansha Agricultural and Industrial Show Society for a number of years. He was married twice, firstly to Josephine Tobin of Bansha until her death in 1978, and in 1982 to Ellen Kiely of Tipperary in a ceremony in Cormac's Chapel in the Rock of Cashel.[6] Ferris lived in Rosanna, County Tipperary. He had six children.[3]


  1. ^ "Michael Ferris". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Tributes paid to Michael Ferris". 21 March 2000. Retrieved 26 March 2024.
  3. ^ a b c d "Michael Ferris dies in Lisbon". The Irish Times. 21 March 2000. Retrieved 26 March 2024.
  4. ^ "Michael Ferris". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Tipperary South By-election, 2000". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Irish Times Obituary". irishtimes.com. Retrieved 21 October 2023.