Biographies A-Z

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Faulkner, (Arthur) Brian Deane

Faulkner, (Arthur) Brian Deane (1921–77), Baron Faulkner of Downpatrick , prime minister of Northern Ireland, was born 18 February 1921 at Helen's Bay, Co. Down, elder son of a self-made businessman of Belfast, James Alexander Faulkner, and his wife, Nora Lillian Deane. Family…

Faulkner, George

Faulkner, George (1703–1775), bookseller and printer, was born on 3 April 1703 according to his own statement, but in 1699 according to the obituary in the Dublin Journal. The son of a protestant Dublin victualler, he was educated by Dr Lloyd before being apprenticed (…

Faulkner, John

Faulkner, John (c.1830–1890), landscape and marine painter, was born in Dublin. He trained at the School of Landscape and Ornament of the Royal Dublin Society Schools (1848) and exhibited his first works, with the RHA (1853),…

Faulkner, Lucy (Barbara Ethel) (née Forsythe) (1925–2012), Lady Faulkner of Downpatrick

Faulkner, Lucy (Barbara Ethel) (née Forsythe) (1925–2012), Lady Faulkner of Downpatrick , political private secretary and public figure, was born on 1 July 1925, the only daughter of William James Forsythe, JP (d. 1954), and his wife Jane Ethel (née Sewell); she had an older brother.…

Faulkner, Pádraig

Faulkner, Pádraig (1918–2012), politician, was born on 12 March 1918 in Dundalk, Co. Louth, the eldest of six children (four daughters and two sons) of Thomas Faulkner, farmer, and his wife Elizabeth (née Casey). While Thomas Faulkner was a staunch Redmondite and member (eventually…

Fawsitt, Diarmuid (Jeremiah)

Fawsitt, Diarmuid (Jeremiah) (1884–1967), nationalist,civil servant, and judge, was born Jeremiah Fawsitt 7 May 1884 at Ballymacthomas, Bandon, Co. Cork, son of Boyle Fawsitt, merchant, and Hannah Fawsitt (née Lucey). From relative poverty his father established a mercantile…

Fay, Frank J. (Francis John)

Fay, Frank J. (Francis John) (1870–1931), actor and theatre producer, was born 30 August 1870 at 10 Lower Dorset Street, Dublin, the eldest son of four children of William Patrick Fay, a government clerk, and his wife, Martha Fay (née Dowling). He was educated at Belvedere College…

Fay, Martin Joseph

Fay, Martin Joseph (1936–2012), musician, was born on 19 September 1936 at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, the youngest of four children, three boys and a girl, to parents Joseph Christopher Fay, a motor vehicle driver, and Annie Fay (née Kelly). Shortly before Martin's birth his…

Fay, William George (‘Wille’)

Fay, William George (‘Wille’) (1872–1947), actor and producer, was born 12 November 1872 at Rathmines, Dublin, one of four children of William Patrick Fay, a government clerk, and his wife, Martha (née Dowling), from a midlands farming family. After teaching for a time at the Model…

Fay, William Patrick Ignatius

Fay, William Patrick Ignatius (1909–69), diplomat, was born 17 April 1909 at Seaview House, Booterstown, Co. Dublin, son of Henry Edward Fay, surveyor at the General Post Office, and Helena Magdalen (neé Browne), and was a nephew of…

Fearon, William Robert

Fearon, William Robert (1892–1959), biochemist, was born 14 October 1892 in Holles St., Dublin, the only son of a presbyterian minister, William Fearon of Kells, Co. Meath, and Nannie Fearon (neé Morrow). His father died when he was very young and from the age of 3 he lived with…

Féchín (Mo-Ecca)

Féchín (Mo-Ecca) (d. 665) of Fore, monastic founder, notable ascetic, and saint in the Irish tradition, is known from one Latin and one Irish Life. John Colgan (qv) knew of three Irish Lives, which he conflated into a Latin version called…

Fedelmid (Feidlimid)

Fedelmid (Feidlimid) (p. 770?–847), son of Crimthann and king of Cashel, belonged to the dynasty of Éoganacht Chaisil. A retrospective entry in the Annals of Inisfallen places his birth at 770, which is perhaps a little early. His father, a descendant of Fíngen (a seventh-…

Feehan, John (Seán)

Feehan, John (Seán) (1916–91), publisher and writer, was born 8 September 1916 in Ballinree, Dualla, Cashel, Co. Tipperary, the elder of two sons of Thomas Feehan, teacher, Ballytarsna, and his wife, Catherine O'Connor, teacher, of Dualla. His brother Gerard died aged two, and his…

Feehan, Matthew (‘Matt’)

Feehan, Matthew (‘Matt’) (1913–90), soldier and newspaper editor, was born 11 November 1913 at 4 Great Denmark St., north-east of Rutland (later Parnell) Square, Dublin, youngest son of Matthew Feehan, grocer, and Aileen Feehan (née Boland), of Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. He was educated at…

Feeney, John (‘Jack’)

Feeney, John (‘Jack’) (1903–67), singer, was born 9 August 1903 in Swinford, Co. Mayo, fourth of seven surviving children (five sons and two daughters) of Patrick Feeney (1865–1914/15), grocer, originally from Co. Leitrim, and Mary Feeney (née Kelly) (1875–1925), a daughter of the…

Feiritéar, Piaras (Ferriter, Pierce)

Feiritéar, Piaras (Ferriter, Pierce) (c.1600–c.1653), Gaelic poet, royalist and folk hero, was the son of Edmund Ferriter (c.1568–1628) of Ballysyble and Ballyferriter, west Co. Kerry; nothing is known of his mother. The Ferriters, a minor landed family of…

Feldman, Elaine

Feldman, Elaine (1916–2006), public figure and founder of a secondary school for the Jewish community, was born on 31 March 1916 at 19 Kenilworth Park, Harold's Cross, Dublin, the second child of Maurice Freeman and his wife Ada (née Price). Maurice Freeman had come to Ireland from…

Fennell, Gerald

Fennell, Gerald (d. c.1666), physician and confederate, was born in Co. Tipperary, where he owned Ballygriffin in the barony of Clanwilliam, and was recorded as taking a lease of Athassal in 1634. He married Ellen, daughter and heir of John O'Mahony of Cloonakeany, in the…

Fennell, Nuala

Fennell, Nuala (1935–2009), feminist and politician, was born Fionnuala Campbell in north Co. Dublin on 25 November 1935, the third eldest child of Patrick Campbell, from the rural east Co. Galway area of Lisheennavannoge (Clancarty), an IRA volunteer and one of the earliest Garda…

Fenning, Seumas

Fenning, Seumas (1904–81), snooker and billiards player, was born 12 February 1904 in Wood Quay, Dublin, one of thirteen children (of whom eleven survived) of Thomas J. Fenning, proofreader and bookseller, and Mary Fenning (née O'Donoghue). He attended a number of schools in the…

Fenton, Sir Geoffrey

Fenton, Sir Geoffrey (1539–1608), secretary of state for Ireland, was the son of Henry Fenton of Fenton, Nottinghamshire, England, and his wife Cecily, daughter of John Beaumont of Coleorton, Leicestershire, and may have been related to both the Dudleys and the Cecils. Until 1580 he…

Fer-dá-Chrích

Fer-dá-Chrích (d. 748), also known as Áed grandson of Aithmet, was abbot of Dairinis and a prominent member of the Céli Dé reform movement in the eighth-century Irish church. The familiar name ‘Fer-dá-Chrích’ (man of two districts) was accorded to several distinguished…

Ferdomnach

Ferdomnach (d. 845) was chief scribe of the monastery of Armagh in the first half of the ninth century and scribe of the Book of Armagh. Although an unprinted genealogy of Ferdomnach, tracing his descent back twenty-three generations, is preserved in the Book of Lecan, nothing…

Ferdomnach

Ferdomnach (d. 952), grandson of Máenach, and abbot of Clonmacnoise and of Glendalough, belonged to the kindred of Corco Moga (Corcamoe, barony of Killian, Co. Galway). It is possible that his father was Rechtabra (d. 948) son of Máenach, a priest of Clonmacnoise and airchinnech…