He joined the civil service in 1912, and gained a reputation as a wit and a writer of light verse. In 1922 he was invited by fellow civil servant and cartoonist Charles E. Kelly to write for the humorous magazine he and fellow cartoonist Arthur Booth were planning. This became Dublin Opinion. Booth was its first editor, but after his death of pneumonia in 1926, Collins and Kelly jointly took over the role, and became joint directors of Dublin Opinion Ltd with Booth's father-in-law, Major Robert J. Baker.
Collins wrote the bulk of Dublin Opinion's text under a variety of pseudonyms, including Paul Jones, Clement Molineux, Lycurgus and Epictetus, and claimed to have invented the Corkman joke. While Kelly stayed in the civil service, Collins resigned in 1934 to write full-time. Outside Dublin Opinion, he also wrote a play, Tenement Nocturne, and, with Aindria Mac Aogáin, two operettas, Nocturne sa Chearnóg and Trághadh na Taoide. He also had poems and articles published in the Capuchin Annual.
After sales declined, Dublin Opinion was wound up in 1967, and sold in 1968. Collins died after a long illness on 1 April 1972.
- Frank Kelly, "The Story of Dublin Opinion", The Political Cartoon Society
- Thomas J. Collins & Charles E. Kelly (eds.), Fifteen Years of Dublin Opinion, Dublin Opinion Ltd, 1937
- Pauric J. Dempsey and Bridget Hourican, "Booth, Arthur James Conry", Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press, 2010
- Anne Dolan, "Kelly, Charles Edward", Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press, 2010
- Anne Dolan, "Collins, Thomas Joseph", Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press, 2010