Boyle, Hilary Joyce (1899–1988), journalist, broadcaster, and activist, was born 25 October 1899 in south London, second child of Gerald Alexander Thompson, vicar of St Gregory's church, Canterbury, and canon of Canterbury cathedral, and Winifred Helen Thompson (née Hopkins), and was educated at a girls' high school in South London. She married a British army officer (1921) and, according to his postings, spent a short time in Ireland in 1925, later moving to Jamaica, Malta, and finally India (1934). Returning to England with her children in 1935, she subsequently moved to Ireland. With countless hobbies and interests, she embodied extremity and contradiction, joining the Roman Catholic church to leave it for the Communist Party of Ireland. A prominent member of the party, she became an ardent campaigner, lending her support to the Hume Street Housing Action Committee and the anti-Vietnam-war campaign. She took part in several protest marches, both north and south of the border, and on one occasion marched to Áras an Uachtaráin to decry President de Valera's (qv) approval of the forcible entry and occupation bill. She also took up the cause of the homeless, and in the later years of her life she became an active member of the Irish anti-apartheid movement. Such was the number and range of her activities, there are doubts as to her true motivation. She wrote prolifically, combining her position as gardening editor of Woman's Way with an extensive and eclectic output of articles, and one book, Every common bush: a book of flower legends for children (1947). A regular contributor to the Irish Times letters page and Radio Éireann's ‘Sunday miscellany’, she made several appearances on the ‘Late late show’. Estranged from her family and her children, she lived alone in Ballsbridge and later Cabinteely. She spent the last year of her life at the Arras retirement home, Bray, where she died 21 October 1988. She married (September 1921) Lt-col. Charles Leofric Boyle; they had four daughters. Separating in 1935, they divorced in 1950.
Ir. Times, 22 Oct., 11 Nov. 1988; Ir. Press, 22 Oct. 1988; additional information from Margaret Denby (daughter)