Foley, Daniel (Ó Foghludha, Domhnall) (1815–74), anglican minister and Irish-language scholar, grew up in a poor Irish-speaking family in Tralee, Co. Kerry. He worked for a time in the shop of Patrick Grey in Tralee. Influenced by a local clergyman, he left the Roman Catholic Church and went to study for ordination in the Church of Ireland at TCD. The college register records that he was born in Co. Cork and that his father, Timothy, was a merchant. Daniel graduated BA (1843), MA (1852), BD (1854), and DD (1858). He obtained the prebend of Kilbragh, in the diocese of Cashel, Co. Tipperary, and the rectory of Templetuohy, in the same county. In 1852 he was appointed professor of Irish in TCD, a post he held until 1861.
Foley was a fervent evangelical and was active in missionary work during much of his life. In 1849 he published A missionary tour through the south and west of Ireland, describing work he undertook in the early part of that year on behalf of the Irish Society, whose aim it was to promote the protestant religion among Irish-speakers through the medium of their own language. He also toured Britain and America, lecturing and preaching widely. In 1858 he published The people and institutions of the United States of America: a summer tour. He later played an active role in opposing the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland, and lectured on the matter in England and Scotland.
Foley was strident in voicing his disapproval of the board of TCD. On one occasion in 1857 he delivered an oration from the window of his first-floor room and accused the board of robbing the college. Only a month earlier he had been censured for criticising the board during a sermon he gave in partial fulfilment of the requirements necessary for obtaining his doctorate.
His scholarly work in Irish-language studies included An English–Irish dictionary (Dublin, 1855). This, he claimed in the preface, was based on Samuel Johnson's English dictionary, although he omitted headwords ‘such as are of unusual occurrence in the English language, and therefore unnecessary for intercourse with the peasantry of Ireland’. Its main purpose was to be an aid for proselytising. It was the only Irish dictionary to elicit praise from the Celtic scholar Heinrich Zimmer (qv) in 1881. In addition, Foley wrote the preface to the small volume A grammar of the modern Irish language, which was written by C. H. H. Wright (qv) at Foley's request and was aimed at a college readership; it too was published in 1855.
Foley lived at Ardmeen, Newtown Park, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. He died at home on 7 July 1874, his comparatively early death being attributed in part to his great exertions against disestablishment. He was buried in Kill of the Grange cemetery, Blackrock.