Statesman, 5th President of Ireland. He served from December 19, 1974 to October 22, 1976. Prior to becoming president, he attended the University College Dublin, obtaining a degree in Celtic studies in 1931. He became a lawyer in 1934. From 1931 to 1942 he was an Irish-language editor on "The Irish Press". From 1946 to 1948 and 1951 to 1953, he served as Ireland’s youngest attorney general. In 1953 he became a judge on the Supreme Court and was subsequently appointed to chief justice in 1961. In 1972 he left the court to become the first Irish member of the Court of Justice of the European Communities. When incumbent president Erskine H. Childers died in 1974, he was nominated, without opposition, as president of Ireland. His administration was portrayed as controversial at times and after some infamous remarks by the minister of defense over his referral of a law to the supreme court, he resigned. He is best remembered for his belief that the relationship between the president and the minister for defense had been shattered by the minister's comments to the army Chief of Staff and other high-ranking officers. He also believed that the prime minister had additionally failed to meet his constitutional obligation to regularly brief the President. His resignation was seen by many as his effort to protect the esteem and independence of the presidency as an institution.
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