Monday 24 October 2016

Grandfather was film producer and head of Olympics' governing body

Lord Killanin
Lord Killanin

Christopher Morris came from a famous family that included an Olympic Games chief.

His father, Michael ('Mouse'), has more than 30 years of involvement in Irish national hunt racing, training Cheltenham Gold Cup winner War Of Attrition among many others.

The family roots go back to the 1400s when they were one of the distinguished Gaelic Catholic families of Galway.


Michael is the third son of Michael Morris, the 3rd Baron Killanin, who was president of the International Olympic Committee from 1972 to 1980 and chairman of Galway racecourse from 1970 to 1985.

Michael Snr succeeded his uncle in 1927, which allowed him to sit in the House of Lords as Lord Killanin on turning 21.

A distinguished journalist, he married Sheila Cathcart Dunlop of Oughterard, Co Galway, whose grandfather was responsible for the building of Lansdowne Road rugby stadium.

Lord Killanin fought in the British Army during World War Two and took part in D-Day. After the war, he turned to film-making, and helped director John Ford with the production of The Quiet Man.

Sheila Cathcart Dunlop - Lady Killanin - was a cryptographer at Bletchley Park during the war.

Mouse Morris' twin brother, John, who married Thelma Mansfield, became a photographer. The twins' elder brother, Redmond, followed his father by becoming a film producer.

Among the films he worked on were The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Michael Collins and The Reader.

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