Reddin, John Kenneth Sheils (1894–1967), district justice and writer, was born 24 March 1894 in Clontarf, Dublin, one of three sons of John Joseph Reddin, clerk of the Dublin Port and Docks Board, and Annie Teresa Reddin (née Sheils). His parents were keen patrons of the Irish cultural revival and he was educated at Belvedere, at Clongowes, and – most happily – at St Enda's where he thrived on the freedom offered by Patrick Pearse (qv) and its liberal regime of self-regulation. All three Reddin boys were educated at St Enda's and all three joined the Irish Volunteers on the first night of its formation at the Rotunda, 25 November 1913. His unit was not involved directly in the Easter rising, but he was arrested at home by police and deported on 9 May to Stafford detention barracks; he was released by 22 May 1916. He was all the while a law student and took the Incorporated Law Society's gold medal for composition in 1916. He qualified as a solicitor in 1917, and operated a solicitor's firm with his twin brother, Gerard Norman Reddin, an occasional poet, from D'Olier St., Dublin, thereafter. He combined his time in official practice with service to the dáil courts. After the signing of the treaty he was made a judge of the district court for Mullingar in 1922. His family suffered because of his official connections, and anti-treaty republicans burned his parents' home at Artane on the night of 1 February 1923. The entire contents were lost, including letters from Pearse to Reddin's mother and paintings by Jack Yeats (qv), Sir Joshua Reynolds, and John Crampton Walker (1890–1942).
He wrote under the pseudonym ‘Kenneth Sarr’, publishing six volumes of prose and drama. His two one-act plays ‘The passing’ (1924) and ‘Old Mag’ (1924), were produced by Michael Dolan, actor and then manager of the Abbey Theatre. ‘The passing’ won the gold medal in the dramatic section of the 1924 Tailteann games. Neither of his plays lasts for more than fifteen minutes on stage but both are powerful dramas of miscommunication. The white bolle-trie (1927) is a children's book beautifully illustrated by Maurice MacGonigal (qv). Somewhere to the sea (1936) is significant for the details it provides of the workings of dáil courts in the revolutionary period. One such assembly is told by the novel's central character, Neil Coburn, to declare itself a meeting of the Christmas Turkey Club of the St Malachi Total Abstinence Society if disrupted by British troops. Another shore (1945) was published in America as Young man with a dream (1946) and made, under its original title, into a 1948 Ealing film. Reddin enjoyed a successful legal career, serving as district justice in Westmeath, Meath, Kildare, and Dublin. Principal justice of the district court at Chancery St., Dublin, from 1956, he retired in 1964 and his final address was at Templeogue, Dublin. Remembered on the bench for his learning and wit, he died in Dublin on 17 August 1967. He married (1923) Nora, daughter of H. P. Ringwood, barrister; they had three daughters, Perry, Anne, and Lavinia.