Biographies A-Z

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Ní Shéaghdha, Nessa

Ní Shéaghdha, Nessa (1916–93), Irish language scholar, was born 14 March 1916 in Drumcondra, Dublin, one of four daughters and a son of Seán Pádraig Ó Séaghdha and his wife, Kitty Nic Caochlaoich. She attended Scoil Bhríde national school and Scoil Chaitríona secondary school and…

Niven, Ninian

Niven, Ninian (1799–1879), horticulturist and landscape gardener, was born at Kelvin Grove near Glasgow. His father, also Ninian Niven, of Pennicuik, was a gardener at Keir House near Stirling and had made two expeditions to the Cape of Good Hope, collecting plants for George…

Nixon, John William

Nixon, John William (1877–1949), policeman and politician, was born 1 June 1877 in Graddum, Co. Cavan, into a methodist family; other family details are unknown. He joined the RIC in 1899, served in Belfast, Donegal, Antrim, Mayo,…

Nixon, Sir Christopher John

Nixon, Sir Christopher John (1849–1914), physician, was born 30 June 1849 in Dublin, son of Christopher William Nixon, railway agent, and Mary Frances Nixon (née Hackett). He was educated at Terenure College, Dublin, and studied at the Catholic University School of Medicine (CUSM…

Noble, Margaret Elizabeth (Sister Nivedita)

Noble, Margaret Elizabeth (Sister Nivedita) (1867–1911), educator, writer, and political activist in India, was born at 23 Scotch Street, Dungannon, on 28 October 1867, the eldest daughter and first child of Samuel Richmond Noble and Mary Isabel Hamilton. Both male grandparents are…

Noble, William Henry

Noble, William Henry (1834–92), general, was born 14 October 1834 at Glassdrummond, Co. Fermanagh, eldest son of the Rev. Robert Noble of Glassdrummond, rector of Athboy, Co. Meath, and his wife Catherine (d. 1904), eldest daughter of the Rev. James Annesley Burrowes, rector of…

Nolan, Christopher

Nolan, Christopher (1965–2009), writer and advocate for the disabled, was born 6 September 1965 in the county hospital in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, second and youngest child (he had an elder sister) of Joseph Nolan, psychiatric nurse and small farmer, and his wife Bernadette (née…

Nolan, John

Nolan, John (c.1600–1662), Dominican priest and theologian, was a filius of the Black Abbey of Kilkenny. He entered the Dominican order at Zamora in Spain. By 1627 he was already lector of philosophy at Pamplona, where he had studied. He was appointed conventual…

Nolan, John

Nolan, John (c.1860–1920), revolutionary, was born in the vicinity of James's St., Dublin, son of a shopkeeper who died young; nothing else is known of his family. He was well known during his youth as an amateur boxer but fled to America in January 1883 owing to his…

Nolan, John (‘Amnesty Nolan’)

Nolan, John (‘Amnesty Nolan’) (1846–87), nationalist and amnesty activist, was born in Ballon, Co. Carlow, but raised and educated in Limerick city, where he worked as a draper's assistant and freelance journalist and became known as a well-read and socially refined young man.…

Nolan, John James (‘J. J.’)

Nolan, John James (‘J. J.’) (1888–1952), experimental physicist and academic, was born 28 December 1888 in Railway Tce, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, eldest among four sons and one daughter of Martin Nolan, member of the RIC, originally from Co.…

Nolan, John Philip

Nolan, John Philip (1838–1912), landowner, army officer, and politician, was born 3 August 1838 in Dublin, the eldest of six sons of John Nolan (b. 1810) of Ballinderry, near Tuam, Co. Galway, a catholic barrister, landowner, and magistrate, who, after relieving the poor during…

Nolan, Julian (Julia)

Nolan, Julian (Julia) (c.1612–1701), Dominican prioress, the daughter of Galway citizens Peter Nolan and Elizabeth Lynch, was probably born in Galway. Nothing is known about her upbringing or education. In 1644 she married a distant relative, Peter Nolan, but a year later…

Nolan, Nicholas George (Ó Nualláin, Nicolás Seoirse)

Nolan, Nicholas George (Ó Nualláin, Nicolás Seoirse) (1907–84), civil servant, was born in Hong Kong on 8 December 1907, although he was sometimes described as a native of Cork. The eldest child of Nicholas G. Nolan (1878–1920), chief interpreter of the Hong Kong Supreme Court (1907–…

Nolan, Patrick (Paddy)

This is a co-subject for the entry on Nolan, John James (‘J. J.’). View the original entry.

Nolan, Seán (‘Johnny’)

Nolan, Seán (‘Johnny’) (1908–88), communist, was born 4 June 1908 in the Rotunda hospital, Dublin, son of Edward Nolan, van driver, of 4 Ryan's Cottages, off Marlborough Place in the north inner city, and Catherine Nolan (née Behan). A member at age 18 of the Irish Worker League (…

Nolan, Thomas

Nolan, Thomas (1872/3–1939), newspaper editor and publisher, was educated at the CBS, Tralee, Co. Kerry; few other details of his early life are available. As a young man he joined the clerical staff of J. B. Healy, building…

Nolan, Thomas Joseph

Nolan, Thomas Joseph (1888–1945), chemist, was born 11 November 1888 at 16 Newmarket, Dublin, eldest of nine children of Joseph Nolan, compositor in a print works, and Ellen Nolan (née O'Keefe), both from Dublin. He was educated at CBS…

Nolan, Thomas (‘Tom’)

Nolan, Thomas (‘Tom’) (1921–92), politician and businessman, was born 27 July 1921 in Cappawater, Myshall, Co. Carlow, son of Matthew Nolan, farmer, and Bridget Nolan (née Murphy). Educated at Myshall national school and De La Salle College, Bagenalstown, after completing his…

Noonan, Michael Joseph

Noonan, Michael Joseph (1935–2013), politician, was born on 4 August 1935 in Crean, Bruff, Co. Limerick, the son of John Noonan, a farmer, and Hanorah Noonan (née Slattery) from a farming family. He was educated at the Salesian College in Pallaskenry, Co. Limerick, before studying for a…

Noonan, Robert Philippe (Robert Tressell)

Noonan, Robert Philippe (Robert Tressell) (1870–1911), socialist and author, was born 18 April 1870 at 37 Wexford Street in Dublin, the natural son of Samuel Croker, an RIC inspector, and Mary Noonan; he was baptised a catholic. The…

Norcott, William

Norcott, William (1773?–1820), barrister, satirist, and bon vivant, was eldest son of William Norcott of Charleville, Co. Cork, and Mary Norcott (née Knight). He entered TCD in July 1790, graduating BA…

Norman, Conolly

Norman, Conolly (1853–1908), psychiatrist, was born 12 March 1853 in Newtown Cunningham, Co. Donegal, fifth of six sons of Hugh Norman, rector of All Saints Church, and Anne Norman (née Ball). He was educated at home before studying medicine at TCD…

Norris (Norreys), Sir John

Norris (Norreys), Sir John (c.1547–97), military commander and lord president of Munster, was second son of Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norris of Rycote, and his wife Margaret, daughter of John Williams, 1st Baron Williams of Thame. In the course of one of the most…

Norris, Philip

Norris, Philip (c.1400–1465), scholar and controversialist, was probably born in Dundalk, where on 31 July 1427 he was presented to the parish church of St Nicholas. Granted leave of absence for seven years in order to study at a university, he went to Oxford; there he…