Biographies A-Z

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Keating, May

Keating, May (1895–1965), socialist, feminist and human rights campaigner, was born Mary Josephine Walsh on 6 October 1895, in Eadestown, Rathmore, Co. Kildare, to John Walsh, who farmed 70 acres there (28.3 hectares), and his wife Martha (née Cullen), a national school teacher. Her…

Keating, Paul John Geoffrey

Keating, Paul John Geoffrey (1924–80), diplomat, was born 13 August 1924 in Dublin, first child of Joseph Keating and Mary Mercedes Keating (neé Joyce). He was educated at TCD, where in 1946 he received a first-class degree in modern…

Keating, Seán

Keating, Seán (1889–1977), painter, was born in Limerick city 28 September 1889, one of three sons and three daughters of Joseph Keating, an accounts manager with a bakery firm and Anne Keating (née Hannan). He was educated initially at St Munchin's College, where he was a poor…

Keating, Sean P.

Keating, Sean P. (1903–76), republican, businessman and administrator, was born John Keating in Darrell Cottages, Kanturk, Co. Cork, on 14 July 1903, the son of Michael Keating, baker, and his wife Johanna, a native of Co. Kerry; he was the youngest of six surviving children (four sons…

Keating, Sir Henry Sheehy

Keating, Sir Henry Sheehy (1777–1847), army officer and colonial governor, was the fourth son in the family of five sons and four daughters of Bryan Keatinge (d. 1783) of Cork and Bansha, Co. Tipperary, and his wife, Anne, eldest daughter and co-heiress of John Sheehy (d. 1776) of…

Keefe, (Thomas) Dennis

Keefe, (Thomas) Dennis (1930–90), physicist, was born 28 February 1930 at 6 Belgrave Square, Rathmines, Dublin, only son among three children of Joseph Keefe, civil servant, and Eileen Keefe (née Riordan). Known as ‘Dennis’, he was educated at the…

Keeffe (O'Keeffe), Matthew

Keeffe (O'Keeffe), Matthew (1811–87), catholic priest and agrarian agitator, was born in July 1811 at Higginstown, Clara, Co. Kilkenny, a son of Matthew Keeffe, presumably a farmer, whose paternal ancestors were of Pobble O'Keeffe, Co. Cork, and his wife, Mary (née Keating), who…

Keeffe (O'Keeffe), Robert (‘Bob’)

Keeffe (O'Keeffe), Robert (‘Bob’) (1880–1949), hurler and GAA administrator, was born 16 August 1880 in Glengrant, near Mooncoin, Co. Kilkenny, one of at least three sons and two daughters of Peter Keeffe, farmer, from Glengrant, and Honora (‘Norah’, ‘Nano’) Keeffe (née Nolan).…

Keegan, John

Keegan, John (1816?–49), poet and sketch writer, was born in the townland of Killeany, near Shanahoe, Queen's Co. (Laois), the son of Mary Keegan, née O'Mahony, probably in 1816 – though some sources suggest 1809; his father's name is not known. He lived with his parents in the home…

Keegan, John

Keegan, John (1813–93), surveyor and diarist, was born at Laragh, near Horseleap, Co. Westmeath, in 1813, the only son of Thomas Keegan (1789–1854), a farmer, and his wife, Mary (née Gannon). The Keegans were descended from the hereditary brehons of the Irish midlands; one…

Keenan, Alice (Sister Mary Liguori)

Keenan, Alice (Sister Mary Liguori) (1836–1914), Sister of Mercy and educator, was born in the parish of St Paul's, Dublin, daughter of John and Mary Keenan and sister of Sir Patrick J. Keenan (qv), education commissioner of…

Keenan, Brian Paschal

Keenan, Brian Paschal (1941–2008), republican paramilitary, was born on 17 July 1941, in Dysert, Draperstown, Co. Londonderry, one of six children of Henry Keenan, an accountant, and his wife Jean (née McAlea). During the second world war Keenan's father served at Pocklington air base (…

Keenan, Donal

Keenan, Donal (1919–90), Gaelic footballer and sports administrator, was born 10 March 1919 at Elphin, Co. Roscommon, son of John Keenan, bookmaker, and Hannah Keenan (née O'Reardon). After attending the local national school, Keenan briefly studied at Summerhill College, Sligo,…

Keenan, Sir Patrick Joseph

Keenan, Sir Patrick Joseph (1826–94), educationist and administrator, was born probably in Dublin, son of John Keenan, JP, from Phibsborough, and his wife Mary, a teacher and daughter of Patrick Sherlock of Dublin. He had at least one…

Keightley, Gertrude Emily

Keightley, Gertrude Emily (d. 1929), Lady Keightley , local administrator, was the younger daughter of Henry Smith of Northampton. In 1892 she married Samuel Robert Keightley (qv), barrister, politician, and author, of…

Keightley, Sir Samuel Robert

Keightley, Sir Samuel Robert (1859–1949) barrister, politician, and novelist, was born 13 January 1859 in Belfast, the eldest son of Samuel Keatley of Belfast, who may have been a pawnbroker but later became a successful clothier and outfitter and was a…

Keightley, Thomas

Keightley, Thomas (1789–1872), writer, was born in Dublin on 17 October 1789, son of Thomas Keightley, merchant of Newtown, Co. Kildare; nothing is known of his mother. He entered TCD (July 1803) and graduated…

Keightley, Thomas

Keightley, Thomas (c.1650–1719), government official, was born in Hertfordshire, England, only son of William Keightley of Hertingfordbury, Hertfordshire, and his wife Anne, daughter of John Williams of London. In 1672 he was appointed gentleman-usher to…

Kelburn, Sinclare (Sinclair)

Kelburn, Sinclare (Sinclair) (1754–1802), presbyterian minister and radical, was born in Dublin, the only son of the Rev. Ebenezer Kelburn, minister of the Plunkett St. (latterly Ormond Quay) presbyterian church in Dublin, and Martha Kelburn (née Sinclare). In November 1769 he…

Kelehan, John William ('Noel')

Kelehan, John William ('Noel') (1935–2012), musician, conductor, composer and arranger, was born on 26 December 1935 in the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin, son of Patrick Kelehan, a railway fireman and engine driver, of 6 Great Western Avenue, Phibsborough,…

Kelleher, James

Kelleher, James (1878–1943), hurler and jockey, was born 31 March 1878 at Clonmult, Co. Cork, third son among four sons and three daughters of William Kelleher, farmer, of Clonmult, and Johanna Kelleher (née Cronin) of Dungourney. He received his primary education locally at…

Kelleher, Michael Joseph

Kelleher, Michael Joseph (1937–98), psychiatrist, was born 11 September 1937 at St Patrick's Place, Cork, one of six children, two girls and four boys, of Denis Patrick Kelleher, manager in an insurance company, and Sophie Kelleher (née Köss). Educated locally, he entered…

Keller, Daniel

Keller, Daniel (1839–1922), priest and agrarian radical, was born in March 1839 at Inniscarra, near Cork city, where his father Timothy was a substantial tenant farmer; his mother was Mary (née McAuliffe). His surname is a variant of 'Kelleher'; it was rendered as 'Kealeher' in his…

Kellett, Iris

Kellett, Iris (1926–2011), showjumper and horse trainer, was born on 8 January 1926 in Lower Baggot Street, Dublin, the only child of Thomas Kellett, of Mespil Road, Ballsbridge, and his wife Julia (née Maron). Her father was a veterinary surgeon who, after service as a British army…

Kellett, Sir Henry

Kellett, Sir Henry (1806–75), vice-admiral (RN) and polar explorer, was born 2 November 1806 at Clonacody, Co. Tipperary, son of John Dalton Kellett; nothing is known of his mother. His cousin was Commander Arthur Kellett, RN. He entered the Royal…