Biographies A-Z

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Ireland, John Evan de Courcy

Ireland, John Evan de Courcy (1911–2006), socialist, activist, teacher, and maritime historian, was born 19 October 1911 in Lucknow, India, only child of De Courcy Ireland (1873–1915), a British army major of Irish ancestry, and his English-born wife Gabrielle (née Byron).

Iremonger, Valentin

Iremonger, Valentin (1918–91), poet and diplomat, was born 14 February 1918 at 96 Sandymount Road, Dublin, eldest among four children of John Iremonger (1887–1947), sculptor of monuments, and his wife Annie Murphy (1887–1950), shopkeeper. Christened Valentine, he dropped the last…

Ireton, Henry

Ireton, Henry (1611–51), soldier and lord deputy of Ireland, was the eldest son in the resolutely puritan gentry family of German and Jane Ireton of Attenborough, near Nottingham. Baptised on 3 November 1611, he was educated at Trinity College, Oxford, graduating in 1629, and…

Írgalach

Írgalach (d. 702), son or grandson of Conaing (‘nepos Conaing’, AU; ‘mac’, according to some other annals) and a king of the Uí Néill, belonged to the dynasty of Síl nÁedo Sláine. His (grand) father, Conaing son of Congal, had been killed at the battle of Ogoman (662) while…

Irvine, Alexander Fitzgerald

Irvine, Alexander Fitzgerald (1863–1941), minister, social activist, orator, and author, was born 19 January 1863 in Scott's Entry, Antrim town, ninth among twelve children (five of whom died young) of Jamie Irvine, an illiterate protestant shoemaker, and Anna Irvine (née Gilmore…

Irvine, Sir William Hill

Irvine, Sir William Hill (1858–1943), premier and chief justice of Victoria in Australia, was born 6 July 1858 at Dromalane, Newry, Co. Down, sixth among seven children of Hill Irvine, farmer and linen manufacturer, and his wife Margaret, a sister of…

Irvine, William

Irvine, William (1741–1804), general in the American army, was born 3 November 1741 in Co. Fermanagh. His parents' names are unknown, though it is possible that his father was James Irvine, a doctor in Enniskillen. Others give the name as John; it seems likely that the family was…

Irvine, William

Irvine, William (1734–1814), MP, Volunteer colonel, and freemason, was born 15 July 1734, the eldest son of Christopher Irvine (d.1755), of Castle Irvine, Co. Fermanagh, landowner, and his second wife, Elinor (d.1767), daughter of Audley Mervyn of Trillick, Co. Tyrone. In 1758 he…

Irwin, Herbert Carmichael (‘Bird’, ‘Bertie’)

Irwin, Herbert Carmichael (‘Bird’, ‘Bertie’) (1894–1930), athlete and aeronaut, was born 26 June 1894, apparently in Co. Dublin, one of four children of Thomas Frederick Nesbitt Irwin and his wife Elinor Emily Lindsay (née Carroll). The family subsequently lived in Dublin at an address…

Irwin, James Alexander Hamilton

Irwin, James Alexander Hamilton (1876–1954), presbyterian minister and Irish nationalist, was born 3 July 1876 in Feeny, Co. Londonderry, the son of Samuel Hyndman Irwin and his wife Mary (née Hamilton). Educated at Magee College, Derry, and New College, Edinburgh, he took a master…

Irwin, Sir John

Irwin, Sir John (1728–88), soldier and politician, was born in Dublin, only son of Gen. Alexander Irwin, colonel of the 5th Foot, who was well connected politically and a friend of the lord lieutenant of Ireland, the duke of…

Irwin, Sir Samuel Thompson

Irwin, Sir Samuel Thompson (1877–1961), surgeon, rugby player, and politician, was born 3 July 1877 in Limavady, Co. Londonderry, son of John Irwin of Limavady. He was educated at Foyle College, Derry, and QCB, where he graduated…

Irwin, Thomas Caulfield

Irwin, Thomas Caulfield (1823–92), poet, was born 4 May 1823, son of Thomas Irwin, a doctor in Warrenpoint, Co. Down. After his father's death (1831) the family moved away from Warrenpoint. Irwin, intended for a medical career, received a good education, and travelled widely in…

Iserninus

Iserninus (d. 465/8), missionary bishop and church founder, was regarded by early Irish hagiographers as an associate of St Patrick (qv). His personal name, possibly derived from isarno- (iron), suggests a…

Islip (Islep, Istlep, de Istelep, Istlip), Walter

Islip (Islep, Istlep, de Istelep, Istlip), Walter (fl.1300–39), clerk and treasurer, was the bastard son of a deacon, and possibly in receipt of an MA from Oxford. He first appears in Ireland in 1300, acting as attorney for…

Íte (M'Íde, Ita, Ida)

Íte (M'Íde, Ita, Ida) (d. 570/77), foundress and first abbess of Killeedy (Co. Limerick) and a saint in the Irish tradition, is traced to a lineage of the Munster Déisi. Her father is named as Cenn-fáelad, and her mother as Necht. Tradition claims that she was first called…

Ivory, Thomas

Ivory, Thomas (1732?–1786), architect, was born in Cork city and initially worked as an apprentice carpenter. Moving to Dublin, he worked as a gunstock carver in the workshop of the gunsmith Alderman Thomas Truelock. He later took lessons in architectural drawing from a Mr Bell…