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Michael Morris, 3rd Baron Killanin : biography

30 July 1914 - 25 April 1999

Michael Morris, 3rd Baron Killanin, MBE, TD (30 July 1914 – 25 April 1999), was an Irish journalist, author, sports official, and the sixth President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He succeeded his uncle as Baron Killanin in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1927, which allowed him to sit in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster as Lord Killanin upon turning 21.


Lord Killanin was also a director of many companies and dabbled in the film industry, collaborating with his lifelong friend, John Ford, on The Quiet Man. He also produced films, including The Playboy of the Western World and The Rising of the Moon.


Killanin died at his home in Dublin aged 84 and, following a bilingual funeral Mass at St Enda's Church in Spiddal, County Galway, he was buried in the family vault in the New Cemetery, Galway.

President of the IOC

During his presidency, the Olympic movement experienced a difficult period, dealing with the financial flop of the 1976 Montréal Olympics and the boycotts of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Denver, originally selected to host the 1976 Winter Olympics, withdrew and had to be replaced by Innsbruck. The cities of Lake Placid and Los Angeles were chosen for 1980 Winter and 1984 Summer Games by default due to a lack of competing bids. Killanin resigned just before the Moscow Olympics in 1980, and his position was taken over by Juan Antonio Samaranch.

Early life

Morris was born in London. The son of Irish catholic Lt. Col. The Hon. George Morris who was from Spiddal in Co. Galway. The Morrises were one of the fourteen families making up 'the Tribes of Galway'. His mother was Dora Wesley Hall, an Australian by birth, whose family was from Herefordshire in England. His father was killed in action near Villers-Cotterêts, France, on 1 September 1914 while commanding the Irish Guards. He was educated at Eton College, the Sorbonne in Paris and then Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he was President of the renowned Footlights dramatic club. In the mid-1930s, he began his career as a journalist on Fleet Street, working for the Daily Express, the Daily Sketch and subsequently the Daily Mail. In 1937–38, he was war correspondent during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Other positions

Killanin served as Honorary Consul-General of Monaco in Ireland from 1961 to 1984.

Military career

In November 1938, the young Lord Killanin was commissioned into the Queen's Westminsters, a territorial unit of the British Army, where he was responsible for recruiting fellow journalists and friends who were musicians and actors. He reached the rank of Major and took part in the planning of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy in 1944, acting as Brigade Major for the 30th Armoured Brigade, part of the 79th Armoured Division. He was appointed, due to the course of operations, a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). After being demobilised, he went to Ireland. He resigned his TA commission in 1951.


  • . The Guardian obituary. Retrieved: 2010-10-23.
  • by Richard Goldstein (two pages). New York Times obituary, 26 April 1999. Retrieved: 2010-10-23.
  • An Irishman and his family: Lord Morris and Killanin, by Maud Wynne. Publisher: J. Murray (1937).
  • Lord Killanin (1914–1999), Maire Boran, Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, Volume 53, 2001, 218–19.


Lord Killanin married (Mary) Sheila Cathcart Dunlop (1918–2007), MBE, of Oughterard, County Galway, in 1945. She was the granddaughter of Henry Wallace Doveton Dunlop, who built Lansdowne Road Rugby Ground in Ballsbridge, Dublin, in 1872. Her father was The Very Rev. Canon Douglas Lyall Chandler Dunlop, Church of Ireland Rector of Oughterard. Lord and Lady Killanin had three sons, George Redmond ("Red"), Michael ("Mouse"), and John, and a daughter, Deborah.. Sunday Independent, 2007-03-04. Retrieved 23 October 2010.. Irish Independent, 1999-04-30. Retrieved 23 October 2010.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine