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Esmond Kiernan



Esmond Laurence Kiernan (25 December 1881 – 19 April 1967) was an Australian politician.

He was born in Fitzroy to schoolteachers John Joseph Kiernan and Margaret MacDonald. He attended state schools and became a furniture retailer. He was a founding member of the Clerks' Union and joined the Labor Party in 1909. He was a follower of Henry George and an opponent of capital punishment and, from 1916 to 1919, served on Collingwood City Council. On 31 January 1917, he married Mary Eileen Harrison, with whom he had four children.

In 1919, Kiernan was elected to the Victorian Legislative Council for Melbourne North Province. From 1929 to 1932 he was an Honorary Minister in the Hogan Labor government and, for a short period, was Minister for Sustenance. His outspoken support for the Premiers' Plan saw him expelled from the Labor Party in 1932, and he served thereafter as an independent member. After travelling to Italy in the early 1930s, he returned to Australia a committed supporter of Benito Mussolini. Despite that, he was not opposed for re-election in 1934, but lost his seat in 1940. Next year, he was the inaugural president of the Melbourne branch of the Australia First Movement.

Kiernan died in Fitzroy in 1967, and is buried in the Catholic section of Melbourne General Cemetery. His wife died in 1979.