Revived essay collection brings to life history of Dublin’s Docklands at the time of the Easter Rising
2019-05-01 15:56:46 -

By Staff Reporter


Essays by An Irish Rebel: Revolution, Politics and Culture by Liam Ó Briain, in a new translation by Eoin O’Dochartaigh, was recently launched by Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring.


The essays in the collection include profiles of friends who became high-profile figures in modern Irish history, among them Eoin Mac Néill, Pádraic Ó Conaire, Seán T O’Kelly, Piaras Béaslaí, and WT Cosgrave.


It also presents a wonderful description of the Docklands community of Dublin’s North Wall a century ago, an aspect celebrated by the East Wall History Group who were delighted to meet Eoin O’Dochartaigh at the launch, and have described the book as a significant way of ensuring their area remains relevant in the public discourse around the 1916 Rising.


Lord Mayor Ring said he was delighted to launch “this collection of essays by Liam Ó Briain, who would have been a very prominent and highly regarded figure in Irish life during the 20th century. As a local man, a member of the Irish Volunteers and the IRB, in addition to being a participant in the Easter Rising, I have no doubt he would have known my own family, including my grand-father and his four brothers who all served at the GPO.


“I was interested to read that he was a guest on the very first Late Late Show broadcast in 1962, which is an historic occasion if there ever was one. While his occupation as a professor of Romance languages ensured he lived in Galway for 42 years, I have to say I still regard him as a real Dub. Born and reared in North Wall in the Docklands, he would return to the city of his birth upon his retirement and live out the remainder of his days here.”


Ó Briain was a notable figure in Irish life during the 20th century and held very many important positions, including 42 years as a professor at University College Galway, and as a founding member, actor and director of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, an Irish-language theatre. Ó Briain was also a member of the board of the Abbey Theatre, and was on the advisory committee for Radio Éireann, as well as the committee of the Military History Society of Ireland.


As a member of the Irish Volunteers, Ó Briain fought during the Easter Rising of 1916 at St Stephen’s Green and was jailed at Wandsworth jail and Frongoch internment camp following the surrender. He was also imprisoned for 13 months for engaging in arms purchases on the continent during the War of Independence.

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