BA Dublin 1916, MB BCh BAO 1917, ScD 1928.
McSwiney was born in Chicago on 20 May 1894 and studied medicine at the University of Dublin. He served as a lieutenant in the RAMC acting as assistant to the scientific advisor of the Ministry of Food. He was assistant to the professor of the institutes of medicine at Trinity College Dublin before being appointed lecturer in experimental physiology at Leeds University in 1919. The following year, he became lecturer in experimental physiology at the University of Manchester, under Professor A.V. Hill. He remained for six years and began his important study of involuntary muscle. He returned to Leeds in 1926 as professor of physiology, a position he held for ten years. He established an international reputation in gastroenterology. McSwiney became professor of physiology at St Thomas's Hospital Medical School in 1936. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1944. McSwiney died suddenly on 8 March 1947.