This October the Dictionary of Irish Biography (DIB) is publishing thirty-five entries: thirty-two new entries encompassing a mix of contemporary figures and ‘missing persons’, and three major rewrites of existing entries.
Among the notable contemporary figures are no less than three former Northern Ireland secretaries of state: Roy Mason (1924–2015), Patrick Mayhew (1927–2016) and Jim Prior (1927–2016), alongside politician Joan Burke (1929–2016), doctor and businessman, Austin Darragh (1927–2015), DJ Tony Fenton (1961–2015), and auxiliary bishop of Dublin, Dermot O’Mahony (1935–2015).
Of our latest ‘missing person’ entries, poet Caitilín Dubh (fl. 1624–9) and pirate Sir William Hull (c.1573–1643) provide two contrasting perspectives on seventeenth-century Ireland. Other ‘missing persons’ published this month include the playwright Harry Morrow (1865–1938), soldier and founder of Tucson, Arizona, Hugh O’Conor (1734–79), the famed Dublin booksellers May O’Flaherty (1904–91) and Mary King (1911–95), and the schoolgirl Ann Lovett (1968–84).
Reflecting the emergence of significant new scholarship, three of our previously published entries have been substantially revised and updated: artist’s model and muse Joanna Hiffernan (1839–86), pioneer in digital computing, Percy Ludgate (1883–1922), and Michael Dillon (1915–62), writer, physician, Buddhist novice-monk and the first person known to have surgically transitioned from female to male.