Good, James Winder (1877–1930), journalist and editor, was born 15 January 1877 in Limerick, eldest son of Benjamin Good, RIC constable, and Margaret Good (née Winder). His family moved to Belfast and he was educated at the Royal Academical Institution in the early 1890s, where he befriended Robert Lynd (qv) and Paul Henry (qv). Lynd later recalled how much Good enjoyed Belfast riots, and joked that he would not miss one for the offer of a first-night seat at a London play. He graduated BA from QCB by 1890 and began his journalistic career as a reporter with the Newsletter. He supported the Ulster Literary Theatre; his Ibsenite play ‘Leaders of the people’ (1907), written under the pseudonym ‘Robert Harding’, was produced by the company at the Abbey Theatre. Promoted to leader writer and assistant editor of the Northern Whig, he was a constitutional nationalist and moved to Dublin in 1916 to work as a leader writer for the Freeman's Journal, a paper closely allied to the Irish parliamentary party and which eventually closed in December 1924. He published two significant political analyses in Ulster and Ireland (1919) and Irish unionism (1920), proving himself unafraid of provincial conceits. He considered the Orange order to be anti-democratic and derided the perceived northern tendency to confuse business with religious superiority. His sharp mind endeared him to his colleagues; H. W. Nevinson, the celebrated English war correspondent, thought him the sanest person in Ireland. Enthusiastic about the creation of the Irish Free State, he was critical of the anti-treaty side during the civil war. A respected commentator in Britain on the Irish political situation, he was correspondent for the New Statesman throughout the 1920s, contributing also to the Manchester Guardian's 1923 supplements on the Irish Free State and to the Daily News. As assistant editor of the Irish Statesman (1923–30), he was responsible, with George Russell (qv) and Susan Mitchell (qv), for the first major post-independence Irish intellectual review. Involved in the foundation of the Gate Theatre in the late 1920s, he ended his career as leader writer and drama critic for the Irish Independent. He died unmarried in Dublin on 2 May 1930 and is buried in Belfast. A bust of him by W. R. Gordon (qv) survives.
Uladh, Feb. 1905, pp. 4–8; Sept. 1905, p. 27; Irish Statesman, 1923–30; New Statesman, 1 Sept. 1928; Northern Whig and Belfast Post, Ir. Times, 3 May 1930; Times, Manchester Guardian, 5 May 1930; R. Lynd, ‘Nostalgia,’ New Statesman, 10 May 1941; Robert Hogan and James Kilroy, The Abbey Theatre (1978); D. E. S. Maxwell, A critical history of modern Irish drama 1891–1980 (1984); Jim Herlihy, The Royal Irish Constabulary (1999); Nicholas Allen, George Russell (AE) and the new Ireland, 1905–30 (2003)