Biographies A-Z

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O'Brien, John Thomond

O'Brien, John Thomond (1786–1861), bullfighter and military officer in Argentina, was born 24 June 1786 at Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow, son of Martin O'Brien, a wealthy farmer, and Honoria O'Brien (née O'Connor). In 1811 he emigrated to South America, settling first in Brazil. His…

O'Brien, Kate

O'Brien, Kate (1897–1974), novelist, was born Kathleen Mary Louise O'Brien on 3 December 1897 in Limerick city, seventh among ten children of Thomas O'Brien, horse breeder, and Katherine O'Brien (née Thornhill) of Kilfinane, Co. Limerick. Her grandfather was an evicted tenant who…

O'Brien, Kate Cruise

O'Brien, Kate Cruise (1948–98), writer and editor, was born 25 June 1948 in Dublin, youngest among three children of Conor Cruise O'Brien, diplomat and writer, and his first wife, Christine (née Foster). Two years after her birth the family moved from Pembroke Road to Howth, where…

O'Brien, Kathleen Cruise

O'Brien, Kathleen Cruise (née Sheehy ) (1886–1938), teacher, suffragist, and Irish language enthusiast, was born 24 April 1886 in Loughmore, Co. Tipperary, the youngest in a family of two sons and five daughters (one of whom died in infancy) of…

O'Brien, Laurence

O'Brien, Laurence (1842–1923), Fenian, was born in Cahir, Co. Tipperary, on 17 April 1842, but his family moved to the United States when he was a boy. On the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861 he enlisted in the Union army, and shortly afterwards was recruited into the…

O'Brien, Máire

O'Brien, Máire (1882–1958), republican activist, civil servant and translator, was born Mary Louise O'Brien at 2 Lower Gloucester Street (now Sean MacDermott Street), Dublin, on 23 August 1882, one of five children of the nationalist politician…

O'Brien, Máire (‘Máire Rua’)

O'Brien, Máire (‘Máire Rua’) (1615?–1686), Gaelic aristocrat and figure in Irish folklore, was daughter of Sir Torlach Rua MacMahon, lord of East Corcabaskin or Clonderlaw, and his wife Mary, youngest daughter of Conor O'Brien (qv), 3rd…

O'Brien, Mary Lucy

O'Brien, Mary Lucy (1923–2006), missionary sister and doctor in Africa, was born Nora Veronica O'Brien on 17 August 1923 in Ballinderry, in the parish of Cummer, near Tuam, Co. Galway, the second eldest in a family of four girls and four boys of Michael O'Brien and his wife Nora (née…

O'Brien, Matthew

O'Brien, Matthew (1814–55), mathematician, was born at Ennis, Co. Clare, the son of Matthew O'Brien, a doctor. Educated initially by a private tutor, he entered Trinity College, Dublin, in July 1830 at the age of sixteen, but in November 1834 transferred to Gonville and Caius…

O'Brien, Michael

O'Brien, Michael (1836–67), Fenian, was born in Ballymacoda, in the parish of Kilmacdonagh, Co. Cork, son of a substantial farmer. Educated locally, in about 1850 he was apprenticed as a draper's assistant to Arnott, Grant and Co. of Youghal and later moved to The Queen's drapery,…

O'Brien, (Michael) Vincent ('M. V. ')

O'Brien, (Michael) Vincent ('M. V. ') (1917–2009), racehorse trainer, was born 9 April 1917 at Clashganiff House near Churchtown, Co. Cork. His father, Dan O'Brien, a fox-hunting farmer who trained a few horses under a permit, lost his first wife, Helena, in childbirth while she was…

O'Brien, Miriam Thérèse

O'Brien, Miriam Thérèse (1945–2006), religious sister, educator, and aid worker in west Africa, was born Colette O'Brien on 18 April 1945 in Antrim town, the eldest of three daughters of Matthew O'Brien and his wife Mary (née Nash); she also had a younger brother. She attended St…

O'Brien, Muirchertach Finn

This is a co-subject for the entry on O'Brien (Ó Briain), Donnchad Cairprech. View the original entry.

O'Brien, Murrough

O'Brien, Murrough (c.1616–1673), 6th Baron and 1st earl of Inchiquin , politician and soldier, was eldest of four sons and three daughters of Dermot O'Brien and Ellen O'Brien (née fitz Edmund FitzGerald of Cloyne). The son of fervent catholics, he was educated according…

O'Brien (née Ball), Anna Maria

O'Brien (née Ball), Anna Maria (1785–1871), philanthropist, was born at 5 Werburgh Street in Dublin, the second eldest of five children (four girls and a boy) of John Ball (qv), a wealthy Dublin silk manufacturer, merchant, and catholic…

O'Brien, Nora Connolly

O'Brien, Nora Connolly (1893–1981), republican and socialist activist, was born at 6 Lothian St., Edinburgh, Scotland, second among six daughters and one son of James Connolly (qv), of Edinburgh, the socialist republican leader (at the…

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Brian Bán

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Brian Bán (d. 1350), lord of Thomond, was second son of Domnall son of Brian Ruaid O'Brien (qv). A powerful warlord he played an important role in Irish politics between 1320 and 1350. He first comes…

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Brian Ruad

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Brian Ruad (d. 1277), son of Conchobar O'Brien (qv), king of Thomond, ruled Thomond during an intensely turbulent period of its history. He succeeded after his father's death at the hands of his kinsmen in…

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Brian Sreamach

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Brian Sreamach (d. 1399), lord of Thomond, was eldest of seven sons of Mathghamhain Maonmhagh O'Brien, lord of Thomond, and Una O'Connor. Nothing is known of his early life; but after his father's deposition of Diarmaid O'Brien as lord of Thomond in 1360,…

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Conchobar

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Conchobar (d. 1268), king of Thomond, was son of Donnchad Cairprech O'Brien (qv), king of Thomond, and Sadb, daughter of Donnchad O'Kennedy (Ó Cennéidig). This somewhat hesitant king ruled over…

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Conchobhar

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Conchobhar (d. 1539), lord of Thomond, was eldest son of Toirdhealbhach Donn O'Brien (qv) (d. 1528), lord of Thomond, and Raghnailt, daughter of Seaán MacNamara. Nothing is known of his early…

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Donnchad Cairprech

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Donnchad Cairprech (d. 1242), king of Thomond, was one of nine sons of Domnall Mór Ua Briain (qv), king of Thomond, and Orlaith, daughter of…

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Mathghamhain Dall

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Mathghamhain Dall (d. 1448 ), king of Thomond, was probably second son of Brian Sreamach O'Brien (qv), king of Thomond, and Sláine, daughter of Lochlainn Láidir MacNamara. Nothing is recorded of…

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Muirchertach

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Muirchertach (d. 1343), king of Thomond, son of Toirrdelbach O'Brien (qv), king of Thomond, and Sadb, daughter of Pilib O'Kennedy, was a powerful warrior who overthrew the feudal settlement of Thomond.…

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Murchadh

O'Brien (Ó Briain), Murchadh (d. 1551), 1st earl of Thomond , was possibly third or fourth son of Toirdhealbhach Donn O'Brien (qv), lord of Thomond, and Raghnailt, daughter of Seaán MacNamara. With his brother…