Kyle, Jack (John Wilson) (1926–2014), international rugby player and surgeon, was born on 10 February 1926 on Kinnaird Street on the Antrim Road in Belfast, the second of five children of John Wilson Kyle and Elizabeth (née Warren). When Jack was aged seven the family moved to more spacious surroundings at Glenburn Park off Old Westland Road. His father, originally from Co. Derry, was the Belfast manager of the North British Rubber Company. The family, though not excessively religious, attended Fort William Presbyterian Church.

Halappanavar, Savita (1981–2012), catalyst for change in Irish abortion laws, was born Savita Andanappa Yalagi on 29 September 1981 in Bagalkot, Karnataka province, south-west India, the youngest of three children (two boys, one girl) of Andanappa Yalagi, an electrical engineer with the Karnataka Electricity Board, and his wife Akhmedevi. She was born into the Lingayat religion, an offshoot of Hinduism that rejects the caste system.

Gilmartin, Tom (1935–2013), businessman and tribunal witness, was born on 11 March 1935 in Lislary, a coastland near the village of Grange, Co. Sligo, the eldest son of two sons and five daughters of James Gilmartin, a farmer of Lislary, and his wife Kathleen (née McDermott). His father voted Fianna Fáil and had served in the IRA during the war of independence and the civil war.

Corish, Patrick Joseph (1921–2013), priest and historian, was born on 17 March 1921 in Ballytarsna near Ballycullane, Co. Wexford, the son of Peter William Corish, a schoolteacher, and his wife Brigid (née O’Shaughnessy). Patrick had five brothers and one sister, and remained close to his extended family, taking annual holidays in Rosslare; Wexford featured prominently in his research, and he bequeathed his book collection to Wexford County Library.

Barry, Billie (Lillian) (1921–2014), performer and stage school founder, was born on 27 January 1921 in Drumcondra, Dublin, the youngest of fifteen children to John Clarke-Barry, orchestra leader and musician, and his wife Anne (née Hughes), an amateur operatic singer.

‘Grangegorman lives’ will feature over sixty biographies from the Dictionary of Irish Biography.

The Grangegorman Histories project has curated a selection of DIB biographies of men and women connected to the area.

Aran of the Saints

In what was to prove a recurring theme, the history of the Aran Islands begins with the arrival of a restless idealist seeking spiritual renewal amid the wilds of the Atlantic.

Since 2012, there have been a series of events commemorating the seismic shifts that took place across the island of Ireland between 1912 and 1923. During this ten-year period the foundations for the modern Irish state were laid.