Biographies A-Z

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Kelly, Alan

Kelly, Alan (1936–2009), soccer goalkeeper and coach, was born James Alexander Kelly on 5 July 1936 in Holles Street hospital, Dublin, the son of James Kelly, a plasterer, of 5 Sarsfield Street, Sallynoggin, Co. Dublin, and his wife Ellen (née Kirwan). During his childhood the family…

Kelly, Anna

Kelly, Anna (1891–1958), journalist, was born Annie Christina Fitzsimmons on 8 January 1891 in Ballysadare, Co. Sligo, one of four children (two daughters and two sons) of James Fitzsimmons, RIC constable (stationed at the time in…

Kelly, Billy ('Spider')

Kelly, Billy ('Spider') (1932–2010), boxer, was born on 21 April 1932 at his parents' home on Long Tower Street, Derry city, the eldest of ten children of Jimmy Kelly, boxer and taxi driver, and his wife Kathleen (née Bradley), both Derry natives. Jimmy ('Spider') Kelly (1912–88),…

Kelly, Charles Edward

Kelly, Charles Edward (1902–81), cartoonist and civil servant, was born 15 June 1902 in Dublin, the second of the seven children of Daniel Kelly, clerk, and his wife, Mary (née Darley). Educated at Synge Street CBS, Dublin, close to…

Kelly, David

Kelly, David (1929–2012), actor, was born on 11 July 1929 in the Rotunda hospital, Dublin, the son of Edward Kelly, a clerk, and his wife Hannah (née O'Connor). He grew up in Dublin, first in Fairview and then Clonskeagh, and attended Synge Street…

Kelly, Deirdre

Kelly, Deirdre (1938–2000), environmental and community campaigner, was born 15 May 1938 at Holles St. maternity hospital, Dublin, eldest daughter among three daughters and a son of Thomas McMahon , bus driver, and Mary (‘Molly’) McMahon (née Kenna), of 5 Sussex Road, adjoining…

Kelly, Denis

Kelly, Denis (1852–1924), catholic bishop of Ross, was born 29 February 1852 at Killaneave, near Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, eldest son of William Kelly and his wife, Bridget (née Butler). He was educated at St Flannan's College, Ennis, Co. Clare (the Killaloe diocesan seminary), and…

Kelly, Denis Joseph

This is a co-subject for the entry on Kelly, (Patrick) Colm. View the original entry.

Kelly, Éamon

Kelly, Éamon (1914–2001), actor and storyteller, was born 30 March 1914 at his grandparents’ house in the Gneeveguilla–Rathmore region of east Kerry, near the Cork border, eldest of eight children of Edmund (‘Ned’) Kelly, local carpenter-builder, and Johanna Kelly (née Cashman).…

Kelly, Frances Josephine

Kelly, Frances Josephine (1908–2002), artist, was born 14 February 1908 in Drogheda, Co. Louth, daughter of James Kelly, master mariner, and Marion Kelly (née Shields). She studied at the Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin and was a star pupil, exhibiting frequently in the…

Kelly, Francis

Kelly, Francis (1812–89), catholic bishop of Derry, was born at Drudgeon in the parish of Drumragh (near Omagh), Co. Tyrone, on 6 April 1812, one of seven children of Edward Kelly, blacksmith and smallholder, and his wife, Mary. He was educated locally and learned classics from…

Kelly, George

Kelly, George (c.1680–1762), clergyman and Jacobite, was born in St John's parish, Co. Roscommon, son of Edward Kelly, who may have been an officer in James II's (qv) army. George probably received his early education in…

Kelly, Gertrude Brice

Kelly, Gertrude Brice (1862–1934), surgeon and political activist, was born on 10 February 1862 near Waterford to Jeremiah Kelly and Kate Kelly (née Forrest) who were both teachers, and supporters of the movement for Irish independence. She was one of ten children, including notable…

Kelly, Hugh

Kelly, Hugh (1739–77), writer and dramatist, was born at Killarney, Co. Kerry, son of Ferdinand Kelly, a gentleman who lost his estate. At an early age he moved to Dublin (where his father purchased a tavern), and after a perfunctory education was apprenticed to a stay-maker. In…

Kelly, Hugh Cunningham

Kelly, Hugh Cunningham (1849–1944), sportsman and solicitor, was born in Belfast, son of Robert Kelly, JP and solicitor, of Greenisland. Educated at the RBAI, in 1873 he became a…

Kelly, James

Kelly, James (1911–2011), political journalist, was born on 14 May 1911 in Cavendish Street off the Falls Road in Belfast, the eldest child of Michael Kelly and his wife Margaret Kelly (née Magauran). At the time of his birth, his father, a native of Co. Kilkenny, was an…

Kelly, James

Kelly, James (1929–2003), army officer and republican, was born in the townland of Leiter, Bailieborough, Co. Cavan, on 16 October 1929, eldest of ten children (five sons – two became priests – and five daughters) of James Kelly, farmer, miller, publican and War of Independence Sinn…

Kelly, James Joseph

Kelly, James Joseph (1877–1939), catholic priest and nationalist, was born 11 November 1877 at New Ross, Co. Wexford, the son of Mary Gannon of Arnestown, Co. Wexford, and Philip Kelly, a merchant from New Ross. He won scholarships to the local Augustinian school and later to St…

Kelly, Jasper

This is a co-subject for the entry on Kelly, Richard. View the original entry.

Kelly, Jimmy (Spider)

This is a co-subject for the entry on Kelly, Billy ('Spider'). View the original entry.

Kelly, John

Kelly, John (1773–98), insurgent leader, was born at Killann, Co. Wexford, eldest among six children of John Kelly (1737?–1797), shopkeeper and prosperous farmer, of Kilbranish, and his wife Mary (née Redmond (c.1743–1803) of Killann. He was a first cousin of Fr…

Kelly, John

Kelly, John (1912–89), fiddle and concertina player, was one of eight children born to Michael Kelly and Elizabeth Kelly (née Keane) of Rehy, Carrigaholt, in the parish of Kilballyowen on the Loop Head peninsula in west Clare. He began to play the concertina at the age of seven,…

Kelly, John Forrest

Kelly, John Forrest (1859–1922), scientist and political activist, born on 28 March 1859 in Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary, and…

Kelly, John (Joseph)

Kelly, John (Joseph) (1936–2007), republican activist and paramilitary, was born in the New Lodge area of Belfast on 5 April 1936, one of five sons and four daughters of William Kelly, retail and wholesale fruiterer, and his wife Margaret (née Maginness). Living off Carlisle Circus…

Kelly, John Maurice

Kelly, John Maurice (1931–91), scholar, politician, and writer, was born 31 August 1931 in Dublin, eldest of three sons of Joseph Kelly, chief executive officer of the Agricultural Credit Corporation, from Co. Kerry, and May Kelly (née Boyle), civil servant, from Co. Mayo. John Kelly…