Biographies A-Z

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Dease, William

Dease, William (1752–98), surgeon, was born in Lisney, Co. Cavan, into an ancient landed family, younger son of Richard Dease and Anne Dease (née Johnson). After a classical education at Dr Clancy's school in Dublin, he was apprenticed to a Dublin surgeon, Dr Keogh (most likely…

Deasy, Henry Hugh Peter

Deasy, Henry Hugh Peter (1866–1947), soldier, explorer, and pioneer motorist, was born 29 June 1866 in Dublin, second son of Rickard Deasy (qv), privy councillor for Ireland and previously lord justice of appeal, of Carysfort,…

Deasy, Liam

Deasy, Liam (1896–1974), IRA officer and author, was born 6 May 1896 at Kilmacsimon Quay, Bandon, Co. Cork, third among six sons of William Deasy, seaman, and Mary Deasy (née Murray). He was educated locally at Ballinadee before leaving school at 13 to work in nearby Bandon.…

Deasy, Rickard

Deasy, Rickard (1916–99), army officer and a founder of the National Farmers’ Association, was born 13 March 1916 in Leeson St., Dublin, the youngest of three children (one son and two daughters) of Major Henry Hugh Peter Deasy, car manufacturer, explorer and son of the Clonakilty…

Deasy, Rickard Morgan

Deasy, Rickard Morgan (1812–83), MP, lawyer, and judge, was born 23 December 1812 in Clonakilty, Co. Cork, second son of Rickard Deasy and Mary-Anne Deasy (née Caller). He entered TCD in 1829 and graduated in 1833. After a distinguished,…

Deasy, Timothy

Deasy, Timothy (1838/41–1880), soldier, Fenian, and politician, was born in Clonakilty, Co. Cork. During 1847 his family emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts, and settled in the nearby city of Lawrence, in a district dominated by Irish immigrants. He may have completed an…

De Barra, Dáibhí (Barry, David; Dáth an Ghleanna)

De Barra, Dáibhí (Barry, David; Dáth an Ghleanna) (1757/8–1851), prose writer, scribe, and poet in Irish, was born in Woodstock, Carrigtohill, Co. Cork, son of Dáibhí, a tenant farmer on the earl of Barrymore's estate. He was educated locally and could read and write both Irish and…

de Barra, Leslie (Mary)

de Barra, Leslie (Mary) (1893–1984), republican and Red Cross pioneer, was born 9 January 1893 at 39 Royal Canal Bank, Dublin, daughter of Michael Price , blacksmith, and Mary Price (née Hamilton). Both parents were enthusiasitic supporters of…

De Bhailís, Colm

De Bhailís, Colm (1796–1906), composer of traditional songs, was born 2 May 1796 in the area known as Ceantar na nOileán (then an isolated island district), west of Béal an Daingin in Connemara, Co. Galway. The precise location of his birth is unknown; Denvir (p. 8) suggests three…

De Bhál (de bhFál), Éamonn (Edward Wall)

De Bhál (de bhFál), Éamonn (Edward Wall) (1667/8–1763), poet, was probably a native of Couragh in the parish of Dungourney, some 10 km north-east of Midleton, Co. Cork – the district in which he spent most of his life. Nothing is known of his immediate family, but a hostile…

de Bhaldraithe, Tomás

de Bhaldraithe, Tomás (1916–96), Irish-language scholar, was born in Ballincurra, Co. Limerick, one of five children of Pádraig de Bhaldraithe (1884–1953), civil servant, from Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, and Eilís Nic Conmara (1886–1973) from near Kilkee, Co. Clare. When his family…

De Blacam, Aodh (Hugh Saunders Blackham, Aodh Sandrach de Blacam)

De Blacam, Aodh (Hugh Saunders Blackham, Aodh Sandrach de Blacam) (1891–1951), journalist and politician, was born Hugh Saunders Blackham in London on 11 December 1891, son of William George Blackham, a Newry-born apothecary, and his English wife Elizabeth (née Saunders). He was…

de Blaquiere, Sir John

de Blaquiere, Sir John (1732–1812), 1st baronet and 1st Baron de Blaquiere , politician, of Ardkill, Co. Londonderry, was born 15 May 1732, fifth son of Jean de Blaquiere, an émigré huguenot merchant of Greenwich, Kent, England, and Mary Elizabeth de Blaquiere (née de…

De Brana, George

De Brana, George (a.1455–1529), bishop of Dromore and Elphin, was one of several foreigners provided to Irish sees in the second half of the fifteenth century. He is said to have been Athenian by birth and was almost certainly provided to the vacant see of Dromore on the…

De Breffny, Brian

De Breffny, Brian (1931–89), architectural historian, genealogist, and author, was born Brian Michael Lees on 14 January 1931 at 66 Gordon Avenue, Isleworth, London, the only son of Maurice Lees (Moses Leese), a turf accountant and taxi driver, and his wife, Marguerite Mary (née O'…

De Brún, Pádraig (Browne, Patrick)

De Brún, Pádraig (Browne, Patrick) (1889–1960), priest, scholar, and academic administrator, was born 13 October 1889 in Grangemockler, Co. Tipperary, third child and second son among four sons and two daughters of Maurice Browne (1844–1911), a national school teacher from…

De Buitléar, Éamon

De Buitléar, Éamon (1930–2013), filmmaker, environmentalist, author and musician, was born on 22 January 1930 in Renmore Barracks, Co. Galway, one of seven children of Colonel Éamon de Buitléar (1902–81), an army officer of Clanbrassil Street, Dublin, and his wife Nóra (née O'Brien…

de Búrca, Séamus

de Búrca, Séamus (1912–2002), writer and costumier, was born James Bourke on 16 March 1912 in Dublin, one of the ten children of the writer-actor-manager P. J. Bourke (qv) and Margaret Bourke (née Kearney), a Dublin seamstress.…

De Búrc (Búrc), Éamon

De Búrc (Búrc), Éamon (1866–1942), storyteller and singer in Irish, was born 2 April 1866 in Carna, Connemara, Co. Galway, son of the storyteller Liam a’ Búrc. His mother came from Cashel, Roundstone, Connemara; other details of her are unknown. He was more commonly known as Éamon…

de Burgo, Augustine Gibbon

de Burgo, Augustine Gibbon (1613–76), one of the most eminent of Irish counter–reformation theologians and an erudite writer on the Lutheran–Calvinist controversies of his day, was born in Connacht and entered the Order of the Hermits Augustinian at Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo, at age 20…

De Chenu, (Roger) Noël

De Chenu, (Roger) Noël (1924–2002), architect, artist and actor, was born on 25 December 1924 in Drumcondra, Dublin, the son of Roger Louis de Chenu (1891–1964) and his wife Aileen (née McShane; b. 1893). Roger, a dress designer, originally came from Poitiers in France, and is said…

Declan (Déclán)

Declan (Déclán) (fl. 5th/early 6th cent.) of Ardmore, saint in the Irish tradition, bishop and patron of the Déisi of East Munster. The martyrologies and genealogies give inconsistent information about him, but according to tradition he was born in Drumroe, near Cappoquin…

Deegan, Columbanus

Deegan, Columbanus (1925–2007), war veteran and Franciscan friar, was born John Joseph Deegan on 4 April 1925 at 23 Usher's Island on Dublin's south quays, one of three boys of James Deegan, a labourer, and his wife Annie Deegan (formerly Finnegan; née Quinn). Known in his youth as…

Deeny, James Andrew

Deeny, James Andrew (1906–94), medical doctor and public health official, was born 7 November 1906 in North Street, Lurgan, Co. Armagh, one of three children of Michael Deeny, doctor, and Jane Margaret Deeny (née Donnelly); his sister Sheelagh and brother Donnell also became…

Deevy, Teresa

Deevy, Teresa (1894–1963), playwright, was born 21 January 1894 at her parents' residence in Passage Rd, Waterford, youngest of thirteen children of Edward Deevy, a successful draper, originally from Ballycloyne, Co. Kilkenny, and Mary Deevy (née Feehan), also of Co. Kilkenny. Her…