1859 – Edward Martyn, playwright, co-founder of Irish Literary Theatre, and Sinn Féin president, is born in Tulira, Co. Galway.

Edward Martyn (30 January 1859 – 1923) of Tullira Castle, Ardrahan, Co. Galway. Irish political and cultural activist, playwright, last of the senior branch of the Martyn family of Tullira, one of The Tribes of Galway. Friend of William Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory, with whom he founded the Irish Literary Theatre. He was the first President of Sinn Féin, which he co-founded with Arthur Griffith. He was a cousin and friend to George Moore, though their relationship was often antagonistic.

Violently opposed to British rule in Ireland, he was the centre of a court case in 1905 as the result of an off-the cuff remark in which he stated that “All Irishmen who join the English army ought to be flogged”. He died in 1923, unmarried, and after donating his body to science, was buried at his own request in a pauper’s grave. He was related to the Hungarian artist and sculptor, Ferenc Martyn (1899-1986).

edward-martyn

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