Biographies A-Z

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de Prendergast, Maurice

de Prendergast, Maurice (fl. 1169–74), adventurer, a Fleming from Prendergast, Pembrokeshire, Wales, led a group of some ten men-at-arms and 200 archers to Ireland, landing (2 May 1169) at Bannow Bay, a day after Robert fitz…

Derbfhorgaill

Derbfhorgaill (c.1108–1193), daughter of Murchad and queen-consort of Bréifne, belonged to the Ua Máelshechlainn line of Clann Cholmáin. Her father Murchad Ua Máelshechlainn (qv) was a long-reigning (1106–53) but oft-…

De Renzy, Matthew

This is a co-subject for the entry on De Renzy, Sir Matthew. View the original entry.

De Renzy, Sir Matthew

De Renzy, Sir Matthew (1577–1634), Irish planter, customs official, and Gaelic scholar, was born in Cullen (probably Cologne), Germany. His career reflects the possibilities open to continental immigrants in early seventeenth-century Ireland. Having spent some time as a cloth dealer…

Dering, Henrietta

Dering, Henrietta (c.1674–1729), portrait painter, was born in France, the only daughter among two children of Francis and Suzanne de Branlieu , a huguenot family who came to England in 1687. The will of her daughter, Mary Dering, dated 23 April 1746 and proved 13 June…

Dering, Sir Edward

Dering, Sir Edward (1625–84), 2nd baronet, politician and commissioner for the settlement of Ireland, was born 12 November 1625 at Surrenden Dering, Kent, the only son of Sir Edward Dering (1598–1644), 1st baronet, antiquary and royalist, of Surrenden House, Kent, and his second…

Dermatius (Diarmait)

Dermatius (Diarmait) (fl. 12th cent.?), an otherwise unknown Irish peregrinus and author associated with the cathedral school of Liège (Belgium), names himself thus in the beginning of a sermon-letter addressed apparently to intending pilgrims to the Holy Land: ‘…

Dermody, Thomas

Dermody, Thomas (1775–1802), poet and soldier, was born 17 January 1775 in Ennis, Co. Clare, eldest of three sons of Nicholas Dermody, a classical teacher. He was educated in his youth in Latin and Greek and was teaching alongside his father at the age of nine. At ten he began to…

Dermott, Anthony

Dermott, Anthony (1708?–1784), merchant and catholic activist, was born probably in the parish of St Michan, Dublin, son of Christopher Dermott, merchant, and his wife Mary. No information on his education has been discovered. With the death of his father (1727), Dermott had at an…

De Robeck, Sir John Michael

De Robeck, Sir John Michael (1863–1928), admiral, was born 10 June 1863 at Gowran Grange, Naas, Co. Kildare, second son of John Henry Edward Fock, 4th Baron de Robeck, and Sophia Charlotte de Robeck (née Burton) of Burton Hall, Co. Carlow. He joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1875…

De Róiste, Liam

De Róiste, Liam (1882–1959), politician, writer, and Irish-language activist, was born 15 June 1882 in Fountainstown, Co. Cork, son of Edward Roche and Eliza Roche (née Ahern), both schoolteachers. He attended the local national school and, although little Irish was spoken in his…

Derricke, John

Derricke, John (fl.1578), author of The image of Ireland with a discourse of woodkarne (1581), may have been the same Mr Dericke who was directed by Sir John Bourne in June 1557 to make a new great seal for Ireland, although this was more likely to have been…

Derrick, Samuel

Derrick, Samuel (1724–69), writer, was born in Ireland, of a Co. Carlow family which had become impoverished; nothing is known of his parents. Apprenticed to a linen-draper, he found business uncongenial, and escaped to London in his twenties, briefly and very unsuccessfully…

Derrig, Thomas (Ó Deirig, Tomás)

Derrig, Thomas (Ó Deirig, Tomás) (1897–1956), revolutionary, teacher, and politician, was born 26 November 1897 at High St., Westport, Co. Mayo, son of Patrick Derrig (d. 1927), a carrier or carman, formerly of Knappaghbeg, Westport, and Winifred Derrig (née Sammon), seamstress,…

Derry, Valentine

Derry, Valentine (b. c.1760–d. p.1806), United Irishman, soldier, and teacher. Nothing is known about his early life. His brother was Father Edmund Derry (c.1747–1819), parish priest of Clonduff and later catholic bishop of Dromore (1801–19). Valentine…

De Siúnta, Earnán (Ernest Edwin Joynt)

De Siúnta, Earnán (Ernest Edwin Joynt) (1874–1949), engineer and Irish-language enthusiast, was born Ernest Edwin Joynt, 11 November 1874, at the family residence in Knox St., Ballina, Co. Mayo, only son among four children of Richard Watson Joynt, editor of the Ballina Herald…

Desmond, Daniel

Desmond, Daniel (1913–64), public representative, was born 3 October 1913 in Crosshaven, Co. Cork, the second child of two sons and four daughters of Michael Desmond, carpenter, and his wife, Hanora White, both from Co. Cork. He was educated at the local national school and the…

Desmond, Eileen (née Harrington)

Desmond, Eileen (née Harrington) (1932–2005), politician and cabinet minister, was born 29 December 1932 at Kilcolman, Ballinspittle parish, near Old Head, Co. Cork, daughter of Michael Harrington, postman and part-time fisherman, and his wife Ellen. The family suffered hardship after…

Despard, Charlotte

Despard, Charlotte (1844–1939), suffragist, nationalist, socialist, and writer, was born 15 June 1844 in Ripple Vale, Kent, the third daughter of Captain John Tracey William French RN, a relative of the Frenches of Co. Roscommon, and Margaret French…

Despard, Edward Marcus

Despard, Edward Marcus (1751–1803), soldier and radical, was born 6 March 1751, youngest of eight surviving children (six sons and two daughters) of William Despard, a protestant landowner of Coolrain, near Mountrath, Queen's Co. (Laois), and Jane Despard (née Walsh). His grandfather…

De Valera, Éamon (‘Dev’)

De Valera, Éamon (‘Dev’) (1882–1975), teacher, revolutionary, taoiseach, and president of Ireland, was born 14 October 1882 in the Nursery and Child's Hospital, Lexington Avenue, Manhattan, New York, the only child of Juan Vivion de Valera and Catherine (‘Kate’) Coll (1856–1932); he was…

De Valera, Máirín

De Valera, Máirín (1912–84), phycologist, was born 12 April 1912 in Dublin, the eldest daughter and second eldest child of seven children (five boys and two girls) of Éamon de Valera (qv) and…

De Valera, Ruaidhrí

De Valera, Ruaidhrí (1916–78), archaeologist, was born 3 November 1916 in Dublin, fourth son among five sons and two daughters of Éamon de Valera (qv) and Sinéad de Valera (qv) (née…

De Valera, Sinéad

De Valera, Sinéad (1875–1975), teacher, folklorist, and writer, was born Jane Flanagan , 1 June 1875, in Ballbriggan, Co. Dublin, one of three daughters and four children of Laurence Flanagan, a carpenter, and Margaret Flanagan (née Byrne). When she was seven the family moved to…

De Valera, Vivion Laurence

De Valera, Vivion Laurence (Bhibhian Labhrás De Bhailera) (1910–82), politician, newspaper proprietor and editor, was born 13 December 1910 in Donnybrook, Co. Dublin, the eldest of seven children of Éamon de Valera (qv) and…