Some Enniskillen literary connections.
Dr. Arthur Colohan, wrote the song Galway Bay. Arthur Nicholas Whistler Colahan (12 August 1884–15 September 1952) was an Irish doctor, British Army officer and songwriter. Born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Ireland his family moved to Galway, where he grew up. Arthur was the eldest child of Professor Nicholas Whistler Colahan (1853-1930) and Elisabeth Quinn of Limerick (b.c.1866). He began his medical career in the County Infirmary in Galway, and then moved to Holles Street. He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, and was badly affected by mustard gas in India. After the war he settled in Leicester, where he spent the rest of his career as a neurological specialist.
Colahan was also a composer of popular songs. His most famous work is Galway Bay, which popularised by Bing Crosby, was the biggest selling record of all time at one stage. Theories abound as to where the song was written or where it was first heard. Some say it was in the home of Dr Morris at 1 Montpelier Terrace, while others believe it was in The Vicars Croft on Taylor’s Hill, from where one could see Galway Bay. Other songs written by Colahan included Maccushla Mine, Asthoreen Bawn, Until God’s Day, The Kylemore Pass and The Claddagh Ring.
Francis Mulhern, academic.
Bridget Moran Nee Drugan 1923-99. Bridget Moran (September 1, 1923- August 21, 1999), née Drugan, was a prominent social activist and author in British Columbia. Born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, shortly after her birth her family emigrated to Success, Saskatchewan, where she grew up. After attending Normal School, she taught school in rural Saskatchewan until 1944 when she enlisted in the Women’s Royal Canadian Service. Discharged from the Navy in 1946, she received a B.A. in Philosophy and English with Honours, graduating as a gold medallist from the University of Toronto. She began work on a Master’s Degree in History, but was unable to continue because the Department of Veterans’ Affairs refused to provide financial support on the grounds that they found no women teaching in history departments in Canada.
As a result, she immigrated to British Columbia and began a career as a social worker in Prince George in November, 1951. In 1964 the provincial government suspended her, along with four other social workers, for their public criticisms of child welfare services, including an open letter to Premier, W. A. C. Bennett. She ultimately won reinstatement but was not able to work any more for the provincial Ministry of Social Services. Thereafter, she worked as a social worker for the Prince George Regional Hospital, the University of Victoria Social Work Department, and, from 1977 until 1989, for the Prince George school district.
Around the time of her retirement from the Prince George School District, she became interested in the inquest into the death of Coreen Thomas, a Carrier Indian woman. At the inquest she met Mary John, Sr.. In 1988, Mary John’s daughter Helen Jones, asked her to write her mother’s biography. Mary John told her the story of her life, resulting in the award-winning book Stoney Creek Woman. This was the beginning of her career as a writer. In addition to Stoney Creek Woman, she wrote Judgment at Stoney Creek, about the death of Coreen Thomas, A Little Rebellion, about her work with the Ministry of Social Services and Justa: A First Nations Leader, a biography of Carrier Indian leader Justa Monk. Her book Prince George Remembered is based on oral history interviews that she began to conduct soon after her arrival in Prince George.
She received many honours for her writing, including the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing from the British Columbia Historical Federation and the Jeanne Clark Memorial Award for Local History. She was an honorary member of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women. She received honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of Northern British Columbia (1995) and the University of Victoria (1996). In 2003, the City of Prince George commissioned a statue of her by sculptor Nathan Scott and erected it at the intersection of Third Avenue and Québec Street. She is remembered for having consistently fought on behalf of the weak and underprivileged. At her memorial service in Prince George, the concluding hymn was Solidarity Forever.
Childhood home of writer and broadcaster John Kelly, later of Hillview.
Charles Duff writer who produced a best seller in 1923 called A Handbook on Hanging. In the New York Review of Books, 1961 the 196 page book is described as “a Swiftian tribute to that unappreciated mainstay of civilization: the hangman. With barbed insouciance, Charles Duff writes not only of hanging but of electrocution, decapitations, and gassings; of innocent men executed and of executions botched; of the blood-lust of mobs and the shabby excuses of the great. This coruscating and, in contemporary America, very relevant polemic makes clear that whatever else capital punishment may be said to be – justice, vengeance, a deterrent–it is certainly killing.”
Cahir Healy, poet and politician lived here for many years. Cahir Healy (2 December 1877 – 8 February 1970) was an Irish politician and writer. Born in Mountcharles in County Donegal, he became a journalist working on various local papers. He joined Sinn Féin on its foundation in 1905. He later campaigned against the inclusion of County Fermanagh and County Tyrone in Northern Ireland, arguing that they had an Irish Nationalist majority. He was imprisoned for his activities in 1922, before being elected in the UK general election, 1922 to represent Fermanagh and Tyrone as a Nationalist Party MP, but with the support of Sinn Féin.
He was re-elected in 1923, but remained in custody until the following year, in which he did not defend his seat. Instead, he was elected to represent the seat in the Northern Ireland House of Commons in the 1925 election, but not taking his seat until 1927 due to the Nationalist abstentionist policy. In 1928 he became a founder of the National League of the North. In 1929 he switched to sitting for South Fermanagh. In a 1931 by-election he was again elected for Fermanagh and Tyrone to the British Parliament, but stood down again in 1935.
Healy became an insurance official but continued to write, his output including journalism, poetry and short stories. He was again interned by the United Kingdom Government under Defence Regulation 18B for a year during World War II. In 1950, he was elected to the British House of Commons for a third time, on this occasion representing Fermanagh and South Tyrone. He finally sat in the British Parliament in 1952, and held the seat until he stood down in 1955. He left the Northern Ireland House of Commons in 1965, by which point he was the Father of the House. He died on 8 February 1970.
Francis Harvey, poet, born Belmore Street in 1925. Francis Harvey is a poet and playwright. He was born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland in 1925. Harvey has lived in County Donegal for most of his life. His collections of poetry include In the Light on the Stones (1978), The Rainmakers (1988), The Boa Island Janus (1996), Making Space, New & Selected Poems (2000), and Collected Poems (2007), which has an introduction by Moya Cannon. He has also written successful plays.
Harvey’s poem “Heron” won the 1989 Guardian and World Wildlife Fund Poetry Competition. In 1990 he won a Peterloo Poets Prize and was a prize winner in the Cardiff International Poetry Competition. He received an Arts Council Bursary in 1991. He has also won The Irish Times/Yeats Summer School Prize.
Soinbhe Lally: playwright and children’s author nee Cassidy
Robert Harbinson, describes in Song of Erne that he lived with a family in Belmore Street as a war-time evacuee.
Pat O’Doherty – Fermanagh Black Bacon book
Michael Adams, author and publisher: Four Courts Press, Dublin.
Battery House at top of Fort Hill steps, home of Joan Trimble etc. Composers/writers.
East Bridge St.
Munster and Leinster Bank house now First Trust Bank – Seamas Mac Annaidh lived here 1966-1974. Irish Language Writer Séamas Mac Annaidh on his Life and Work. New York University’s Glucksman Ireland House presents Irish language writer-in-residence at the National University of Ireland at Galway, Séamas Mac Annaidh, on his life and work as a writer. The lecture was recorded April 17, 2008. Mac Annaidh has worked in many genres, in both the Irish and English languages, as well as in journalism, film and music. His novel Cuaifeach Mo Londubh Buí (1983) is regarded as pioneering and earned critical acclaim. His most recent publications include a collection of short stories, Lisa agus an Gramfón (2005), and a novel, Dioscó Dé (2006).
Also Eileen McAuley lived here in 1955 when her novel The Call was published. Eileen McAuley The Call , Werner Laurie, London, 1955. ‘Set against the stark grandeur of Ireland’s rugged West Coast, this is the story of the Brogan family. When Nora Brogan’s happy-go- lucky husband dies, she is left with a small holding riddled with debt and with four young children to bring up. But far from being deterred by this, she sets herself at once to build up the farm into a paying concern, and in spite of their poverty- stricken circumstances, she has great ambitions for her children. Tom, she decides, shall work the farm, Michael will become an intellectual, Kathleen will, of course, marry, and Joey the youngest, is destined for the Church. At first there is much simple happiness for them all, but as they grow older, her children become caught up in the complex problems that adolescence can bring and life no longer holds any certainty for them. They are swept along by their desires and ambitions, until finally the pattern changes and each member of the family is able to find a true purpose in life.’
Thomas F. .Campbell 1924–2003 American academic
Also the Trimbles at Impartial Reporter Office.
The Fermanagh Times newspaper and Ritchie family.
Edward Cooney preacher and writer. Edward Cooney (1867–1960) was an Irish evangelist from the 1890s to the 1950s. He became one of the early leaders of a church founded by William Irvine. Because of his colourful style and public preaching, his name came to be associated with the entire movement. Later, after Irvine’s ouster, Cooney began to criticize the development of hierarchy within the Two by Twos, its taking of a name for official purposes, and abandonment of other of its original tenets. He and those who agreed with him were later expelled, and formed a looser group which is referred to as the Cooneyites. He continued as an itinerant evangelist until his death in 1960.
Edward Cooney was born in 1867 in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh in the north of Ireland, the third of eight children. He was baptised into the Church of Ireland at St. Anne’s parish church (now St Macartan’s Cathedral) there. His father was William Rutherford Cooney, a prominent local merchant, and his mother was Emily Maria Carson Cooney. He was educated first at the Enniskillen Model School. He went on to attend the prestigious Portora Royal School, which counted Oscar Wilde and, later, Samuel Beckett among its graduates. He was remembered by a classmate as “one of the nicest and best behaved” students at that time. Following school, he made a start in the family’s business interests.
Edward travelled throughout Ireland on behalf of his family’s business, and during the 1890s began preaching in the towns which he visited. As many of these areas were primarily Roman Catholic, Cooney’s strident Protestant views often resulted in an uproar. Although still an active member of the Church of Ireland, he occasionally preached alongside members of other churches. In 1897, he met William Irvine in Borrisokane.
Four years later, Cooney abandoned the family business, sold all his possessions, and joined Irvine’s new movement. From Ireland, he travelled to England, preaching in Hyde Park, London, and at the Keswick Conventions. As one of its most noteworthy speakers throughout the British Isles, some began calling the nameless sect “Cooneyism”, a name by which it is still known in some quarters. This led some to mistakenly assume that Cooney had founded the Two by Two church. Cooney denied starting the movement and testified in court that William Irvine had the founding role.
Cooney’s family connections were useful in obtaining venues in County Fermanagh. His younger brother Alfred was a solicitor and worked on various legal matters for members of the Two by Twos. Alfred was found at their parent’s home with his throat slit on 29 August 1909. In 1924, Edward’s father died. He bequeathed a small annual income to Edward on condition that he give up preaching and return to the Church of Ireland. Cooney never took advantage of the offer. Edward Cooney’s excommunication was finalized during an extraordinary meeting held on 12 October 1928 at the home of Andrew Knox in Lurgan, Northern Ireland. During this meeting, rules were promulgated for the relationship between Overseers and the conduct of workers who preached within their respective territories. Cooney refused to submit, and was summarily expelled.
During the next three decades, Cooney and others in fellowship with him continued to preach worldwide. Cooney was instrumental during the late 1930s in setting up a treatment program for alcoholic indigents in Birmingham, Alabama. Unlike his earlier fiery denunciation of clerics and denominations, he now was able to work alongside them, although he still did not accept them as fellow-believers in the “Jesus Way”. Those who adhered to Mr. Cooney’s views today form an independent group, having dispensed with the office of “Worker” and other vestiges of clericalism which they saw as having crept in over the years. Edward Cooney died in 1960 and is buried in Mildura, Victoria, Australia.
Death of William Scott’s father in 1928 fire in premises beside Blake’s. Painter T. P. Flanagan lived almost directly opposite.
Portora Royal School.
Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Rev. Henry Francis Lyte.
Wickham Drive. (now Belmore Motel).
Charlie Friel b 1946 railway historian