#OTD in 1940 – Birth of Maeve Binchy, an Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, columnist, and speaker best known for her humorous take on small-town life in Ireland, her descriptive characters, her interest in human nature and her often clever surprise endings.

Her novels, which were translated into 37 languages, sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, and her death, announced by Vincent Browne on Irish television late on 30 July 2012, was mourned as the passing of Ireland’s best-loved and most recognisable writer. In September 2012, a new garden behind the Dalkey Library in Dublin was […]

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#OTD in 1871 – Birth of poet and playwright, John Millington Synge, in Dublin.

Birth of Irish playwright, poet and author John Millington Synge in Rathfarnham, Co Dublin. Synge was one of the leading lights of what was known as the Irish Literary Revival and along with William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory, founding members of the Abbey Theatre. His most famous work is The Playboy of the Western […]

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#OTD in 1906 – Birth of playwright, Samuel Beckett, in Foxrock, Co Dublin.

“We are all born mad. Some remain so.” –Samuel Beckett An Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. Beckett is widely regarded as among the most influential writers of the 20th century. During the 1930s and 1940s […]

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#OTD in 1964 – Death of Brendan Behan, an Irish poet, short story writer, novelist, and playwright who wrote in both Irish and English.

He was also a committed Irish Republican and a volunteer in the Irish Republican Army. He died in Meath hospital after reportedly telling a nun looking after him: ‘Ah, bless you, Sister, may all your sons be bishops’. Brendan Behan was born in Dublin into a republican family, and became a member of the IRA’s youth […]

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#OTD in 1852 – Lady Isabella Augusta Gregory (née Persse), playwright, folklorist and co-founder of the Abbey Theatre, is born in Roxborough, Co Galway.

Lady Gregory was a dramatist, folklorist and theatre director; also a co-founder of the Abbey Theatre. George Bernard Shaw once described Lady Augusta Gregory as ‘the greatest living Irishwoman’. Lady Gregory, also known as Isabella Augusta, was born in Roxborough, Co Galway. She married Sir William Henry Gregory in 1880. Sir Gregory owned an estate […]

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#OTD in 1923 – Birth of poet and playwright, Brendan Behan, in Dublin.

Much of Brendan Behan’s work was autobiographical, showcasing working class, Republican Dublin. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest Irish writers and poets of all time. Born in Dublin into a republican family, he became a member of the IRA’s youth organisation Fianna Éireann at the age of fourteen. However, there was also […]

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#OTD in 1860 – Birth of playwright, folklorist, founder of The Gaelic League and the first president of Éire, Douglas Hyde, in Castlerea, Co Roscommon.

“As our language wanes and dies, the golden legends of the far-off centuries fade and pass away. No one sees their influence upon culture; no one sees their educational power.” –Douglas Hyde Douglas Hyde is born at Longford House in Castlerea, Co Roscommon. He was an ardent supporter of the Irish language and was one […]

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#OTD in 1900 – Death of playwright, novelist, and poet, Oscar Wilde, in Paris.

Oscar Wilde was an Irish author, playwright and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of the most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is remembered for his epigrams, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, his plays, as well as the circumstances of his imprisonment and early death. […]

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