Biographies A-Z

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Ó Cianáin, Tadhg

Ó Cianáin, Tadhg (d. 1610), chronicler of the flight of the earls, was from a learned Fermanagh family who were ollamhs in history to the Maguires of Fermanagh. Traditionally, the Ó Cianáins had their own chieftain and were based at Lisgoole on the shores of Lough Erne. One of the most…

Ó Cléirigh, Conn R.

Ó Cléirigh, Conn R. (1927–95), Celtic scholar, was born 7 February 1927 in Dublin, the elder of two children of James Clery, publican, of Amiens Street, and his wife, Johanna (née Connolly); Conn had a sister, Alice. He was educated at the Loreto convent, North Great George's…

Ó Cléirigh, Cú Choigcríche (O'Clery, Peregrine)

Ó Cléirigh, Cú Choigcríche (O'Clery, Peregrine) (fl. 1630–62), one of the ‘four masters’, was from Baile Uí Chléirigh, Co. Donegal. His father, Diarmaid, might possibly be the Diarmaid son of An Cosnamhach found in an Ó Cléirigh genealogy, and/or the ‘Dermot O Clery’…

Ó Cléirigh, Mícheál (O'Clery, Michael)

Ó Cléirigh, Mícheál (O'Clery, Michael) (c.1590–1643), OFM, historian and scribe, chief of the ‘four masters’, was born into the learned family of Ó Cléirigh in Co. Donegal, fourth son of Donnchadh (son of Uilliam son of Tuathail) Ó Cléirigh and his wife Honora Ultach (Onora Ó…

Ó Cléirigh (O'Clery), Lughaidh

Ó Cléirigh (O'Clery), Lughaidh (c.1580–a.1630?), historian and poet, was born in Co. Donegal, the eldest of the five sons of Maccon Ó Cléirigh (d. 1595), who was ‘Ollav to O'Donnell in history, an erudite and ingenious man, professed in history and poetry’ (AFM, vi…

O'Clery, (Patrick) Keyes

O'Clery, (Patrick) Keyes (1845?–1913), soldier, barrister, politician, and author, was born, probably in May 1845, at Darragh house, Kilfinnane, Co. Limerick, the only son of John Walsh O'Clery (The O'Clery ) and Elisa O'Clery (née O'Donoghue Keyes); some sources record his birth…

Ó Cobhthaigh, Diarmaid (Dermot O'Coffey)

Ó Cobhthaigh, Diarmaid (Dermot O'Coffey) (fl. 1563), bardic poet, was descended from an important bardic family in Co. Westmeath. The Annals of the Four Masters record the deaths of members of the family in 1415 and 1452. In 1546 Tadhg Ó Cobhthaigh, called ‘chief preceptor of…

Ó Coileáin, Seán ‘Máistir’ (Collins, John

Ó Coileáin, Seán ‘Máistir’ (Collins, John ) (c.1754–1817), poet and scribe, was born probably on a farm rented by his father near Ballingurteen in Kilmeen parish, about 10 km from Dunmanway, Co. Cork. His father died while the poet was still an infant, and his mother (whose…

Ó Colmáin, Domhnall

Ó Colmáin, Domhnall (c.1645–c.1704), writer, was born probably in the Knockraha area of Co. Cork. Little is known of his background. He was most likely a priest and in the preface to Fr Cornelius Mac Curtain's Agallamh na bhFíoraon, he is referred to as a doctor of law. A…

Ó Conaill, Daithi

Ó Conaill, Daithi (1938–91), republican paramilitary, was born 17/20 May 1938 at 26 Lough Road, Cork city, son of Eugene O'Connell, carpenter, and Emma O'Connell (née O'Sullivan). One of his uncles, Michael O'Sullivan, was an IRA man killed by…

Ó Conaill, Séamus

Ó Conaill, Séamus (1913–98), civil servant, was born James Joseph O'Connell on 8 March 1913 at 33 Rock Road, Williamstown, Booterstown, Dublin, the eldest son of Michael O'Connell, conductor for the Dublin Metropolitan Tram Company, and Anne O'Connell (née Smith): throughout his…

Ó Conaill, Seán (O'Connell, John)

Ó Conaill, Seán (O'Connell, John) (c.1675–c.1725), poet, was a native of Iveragh, Kerry, and a dependant of MacCarthy Mór. He is referred to by Edward O'Reilly (qv) as ‘Roman catholic bishop of Ardfert’, who flourished…

Ó Conaire, Pádraic

Ó Conaire, Pádraic (1882–1928), novelist and short-story writer, was born 28 February 1882 in the ‘Lobster Pot Bar’ in Galway city, one of five children of Tomás Ó Conaire, publican, and his wife Cáit (née Ní Dhonncha). Much folklore surrounds Pádraic's life and his biographers have…

Ó Conaire, Pádraic Óg

Ó Conaire, Pádraic Óg (1893–1971), author and translator, was born 11 March 1893 in Turlach Beag, Ros Muc, Connemara, Co. Galway, son of Pádraic Ó Conaire and Nan Ní Fhéinneadha. His grandfather used the surname Ó Maolchonaire and according to Ó Conaire family folklore, the family…

Ó Conbhuidhe (Conway), Séamus (Colmcille)

Ó Conbhuidhe (Conway), Séamus (Colmcille) (1909–92), Irish-language scholar, poet and historian, was born James Conway on 26 September 1909 at 53 Gladstone Street, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, the eldest son of Patrick Joseph Conway, a paper merchant, and his wife Kate (née Dwyer). Patrick…

Ó Conchubhair, Pádraig

Ó Conchubhair, Pádraig (1901–53), revolutionary and soldier, was born Patrick O'Connor on 14 March 1901 in Clare Street, Limerick, the first of five sons and two daughters of John Joseph ('Seana Sheán') O'Connor (1877–1927), trade unionist, Irish-language teacher and Fenian, from…

Ó Conluain, Proinsias

Ó Conluain, Proinsias (1919–2013), broadcaster, author and promoter of the Irish language and music, was born on 17 August 1919 in Sessiaghmagaroll, Co. Tyrone, the eldest of three children and only son of Bernard Conlon and Mary Conlon (née Heron). His father was from a farming…

O'Connally, Owen, (O'Connolly, Connolly)

O'Connally, Owen, (O'Connolly, Connolly) (d. 1649), plot discloser and parliamentarian army officer, was born into a Gaelic Irish family, probably in Co. Monaghan. He converted to protestantism in the household of the English planter Sir Hugh Clotworthy (d. 1630), and served both…

O'Connell, Count Daniel Charles

O'Connell, Count Daniel Charles (1745–1833), French general and count in the French nobility, was born 21 May 1745 in Derrynane, Co. Kerry, twenty-first among twenty-two children (of whom thirteen survived childhood) of Donal Mor O'Connell (1701–70), catholic landowner, and his wife…

O'Connell, Daniel

O'Connell, Daniel (1775–1847), barrister, politician and nationalist leader, was born in Carhen, near Caherciveen, in the Iveragh peninsula of south-west Kerry, on 6 August 1775, the eldest of ten children of Morgan O'Connell (1739–1809) and his wife, Catherine O'Mullane (1752–…

O'Connell, Daniel

O'Connell, Daniel (1816–97), politician, was born 22 August 1816 at 30 Merrion Square South, Dublin, the youngest of four sons and three daughters of Daniel O'Connell (qv), lawyer and politician, and his wife,…

O'Connell, Deirdre

O'Connell, Deirdre (1939–2001), founder of the Focus Theatre, was born Eleanor O'Connell on 16 June 1939 in New York, USA, fourth among five children of Michael Joe O'Connell, worker in the Brooklyn navy yard and trade unionist, and his wife Nellie, daughter of Timothy Taaffe of…

O'Connell, Denis Joseph

O'Connell, Denis Joseph (1849–1927), bishop and rector of the Catholic University of America, was born on 28 January 1849 in Donoughmore, Co. Cork, son of Michael O'Connell, farmer and Bridget O'Connell (née O'Connell). When he was still an infant, his family emigrated to…

O'Connell, Frederick William

O'Connell, Frederick William (1876–1929), clergyman and Irish-language scholar, was born 22 October 1876 in Clifden, Co. Galway, son of Rev. W. Morgan O'Connell, rector of Clifden. Educated at the High School, Dublin, he entered TCD

O'Connell, Jeremiah Joseph (‘J. J.’, ‘Ginger’)

O'Connell, Jeremiah Joseph (‘J. J.’, ‘Ginger’) (1887–1944), soldier and revolutionary, was born 21 December 1887 in Ballina, Co. Mayo, son of Jeremiah Ambrose O'Connell, national school inspector, and Winifred O'Connell (née Geraty). Because of his father's job the family moved…