Gaffney, Henry Michael (1895–1974), Dominican priest and writer, was born 31 May 1895 in Cuffe's Grange, Co. Kilkenny, the son of Michael Gaffney, publican, and Bridget Gaffney (née Kenna). He entered the Dominican order in Tallaght, Co. Dublin, on 14 September 1915 and was professed in September 1916. He began his studies in Tallaght and continued them in Lisbon (1920–21) and Rome (1921–3), where he was ordained 28 January 1923.
In 1923 he returned to Ireland and was appointed to St. Saviour's Dominican church and priory, Dominick St., Dublin, where he was in charge of the girls' sodality and was editor of the Dominican children's publication, The Imeldist. He was subsequently assigned to Dominican priories in Sligo (1931–5 and 1963–4), Galway (1935–45), Dundalk (1945–6), Kilkenny (1946–63), and Limerick (1963–74). A wide-ranging and prolific writer, he published several religious biographies, including Oliver: the story of the martyred archbishop of Armagh (1945), lives of famous Dominicans, such as Blessed Martin: wonder worker (1949), and the play, The poor man of Assisi (1926). He was also editor of the Irish Rosary. He accepted a request from the literary executors of Canon Sheehan (qv) to complete Sheehan's final novel, Tristram Lloyd (1928). His writings for children included a popular novel, The boys of Ben Edair (1930), which was based on his altar boys at St Saviour's and The story of St Patrick for boys and girls, published in both English- and Irish-language editions (1931, 1932). His According to the scriptures (1939) was selected by the Northern Ireland Ministry of Education for use in their schools. Many of his poems appeared in various religious periodicals and a compilation of these was published as The sorrow of the stars (1928).
Gaffney also wrote and produced several religious plays for adults and children, six of which were staged in the 1920s at the Theatre Royal, Dublin, while others were aired on Radio Éireann. He was commissioned by the family of Patrick Pearse (qv) to dramatise some of Pearse's stories and these were published in 1935. An address he gave at Maynooth College on the history and use of catholic drama was later published as Church and stage (1930). Gaffney also served as an adjudicator at dramatic festivals throughout the country. He died 28 January 1974 in Limerick and was buried in Mount St Lawrence Cemetery, Limerick.