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Boyle, Francis

Boyle, Francis (fl. 1811), blacksmith and poet, lived in Gransha, near Comber, Co. Down; the surname appears locally in the form ‘Boal’. In his volume of Miscellaneous poems (Belfast, 1811), he stated that he was 80 years old and had written verse for ‘lang forty…

Bracken, Joseph K.

Bracken, Joseph K. (1852–1904), monumental sculptor and builder, local politician, and a founder in 1884 of the ‘Gaelic Association for the Preservation and Cultivation of National Pastimes’ which evolved to become the Gaelic Athletic Association (…

Burn, James Dawson

Burn, James Dawson (1801?–c.1889), tradesman and author, was born probably in Co. Down, son of a farmer surnamed McBurney. Shortly afterwards his mother took him to Scotland, begging along with an alcoholic ex-soldier, an Irishman with whom she had other children. Burn's early…

Campbell, James

Campbell, James (1758–1818), weaver poet, was born in Cairncastle, near Larne, Co. Antrim; nothing is known of his parents. He received some schooling locally, and became a linen weaver. He worked as a journeyman weaver round Ballynure, Co. Antrim, till he married; his wife was…

Cleary, Bridget

Cleary, Bridget (1867–95), dressmaker, was born in Ballyvadlea, near Cloneen, Co. Tipperary, daughter, and apparently the youngest child, of Patrick Boland , a farm labourer, and his wife, Bridget (née Keating). This was probably in February 1867, although most contemporary…

Clifford, Mary (‘Mai’)

Clifford, Mary (‘Mai’) (née Hollingsworth ) (1913–86), trade union official and laundress, was born 25 September 1913 at Phoenix Park, Glasgow, Scotland, the elder of one daughter and one son of Joseph Hollingsworth, a blacksmith from Co. Kerry, and his wife Elizabeth, a Glasgow…

Conlon, Guiseppe Patrick

This is a co-subject for the entry on Conlon, Sarah (née Maguire). View the original entry.

Cooper, Austin

Cooper, Austin (b. c.1614, d. a.1690), gardener and strongman, inherited property from his father at Byfleet in Surrey. His father or another relative is said to have held a court appointment under Charles I. Cooper purchased land in England from a Cromwellian…

Fraser (Frazer), John

Fraser (Frazer), John (1803/4–1852), poet and cabinet-maker, was born in Birr, King's Co. (Offaly), into a presbyterian family, originally bearing the name de Jean (possibly of huguenot extraction). There are conflicting accounts of his date of birth. It is asserted in one…

Herbison, David

Herbison, David (1800–80), linen weaver and poet, was born 14 October 1800 in Mill St., Ballymena, Co. Antrim, third son of William Herbison, innkeeper, and his wife Elizabeth (née Wilson). They probably had at least one more child, a daughter. David suffered from smallpox when he…

Johnson, Rosanna (‘Rosie’)

Johnson, Rosanna (‘Rosie’) (1891–1987), street trader, was born 24 March 1891, daughter of William Walsh, labourer, of 6 Turner's Cottages, Dublin, and Julia Walsh (née Reilly). At the age of 12 she was selling violets on the street for a penny a bunch and by the time she was 17 she…

Mac Amhlaigh, Dónall Peadar

Mac Amhlaigh, Dónall Peadar (1926–89), author, journalist, and labourer, was born 10 December 1926 in Co. Galway, the eldest of three sons and one daughter of James McCauley and his wife, Mary McCauley (née Condon). James McCauley was born in Limerick and served with the Munster…

MacKay, John William

MacKay, John William (1831–1902), miner and businessman, was born in Dublin, son of a Scottish father and an Irish mother. His family were desperately poor, and in 1840 they emigrated to America. Following his arrival in New York, he was educated at a public school but his father…

Maher, Margaret

Maher, Margaret (c.1845–1924), servant, was born in Killusty, Co. Tipperary, the third of four children, to Michael and Mary Maher. About 1865 she emigrated to America with her older sister Mary, her brother Michael and possibly their youngest sibling, Thomas. Soon…

Mallon, Mary (‘Typhoid Mary’)

Mallon, Mary (‘Typhoid Mary’) (1869–1938), domestic cook and notorious carrier of typhoid fever, was probably born 23 September 1869 in Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, daughter of John Mallon and Catherine Mallon (née Igo), and probably attended national school locally. Emigrating to the USA at…

McQuade, John (‘Johnny’)

McQuade, John (‘Johnny’) (1911–84), dockworker, politician, and soldier, was born 9 August 1911, son of John McQuade, flax rougher, and Annie McQuade (née Baird), in the Shankill Road area of Belfast, where his family lived in a small terraced house in Carnan St. Educated at the local…

Murphy, John ('Jack')

Murphy, John ('Jack') (1920–84), trade unionist, republican, and activist for the unemployed, was born near Synge Street in Dublin, third son among four sons and five daughters of Denis Murphy, a carpenter; his mother's forename was probably Mary. His father, a founding member in…

Orr, James

Orr, James (1770–1816), weaver, radical, and poet, was son of James Orr, who farmed a few acres and was a linen weaver. His mother's name is unknown. They lived in the small village of Ballycarry, in the parish of Broadisland, Co. Antrim. James was an only child, born when his…

Thompson, Samuel (Sam)

Thompson, Samuel (Sam) (1916–65), playwright and shipyard worker, was born 21 May 1916 at 2 Montrose Street, Ballymacarrett, Belfast, one of the eight children of Hugh Thompson, lamplighter and part-time sexton of the Church of Ireland St Clement's church, and his wife, Margaret, née…

West, John

West, John (1812–87), chartist and textile worker, was born 20 February 1812 in Dublin. His father died when he was a child and he was taken by his mother to live in Manchester; no other details of his family are known. He started work as an adolescent in the textile trade, and…