I recently, at the Dublin Festival of History, had the privilege of watching an advance screening of “Keepers of the Flame”: a feature-length documentary jointly written by Nuala O’Connor and Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of History at UCD, Dublin, and brilliant directed by O’Connor. It concerns ideas , stories and questions thrown up by the archives of the Military Pensions Board, which awarded or (more often, and often controversially) didn’t award pension to those who claimed service on the nationalist side during the Irish Revolutionary period.
This blog post show some of the fascinating literary connections of people who submitted claims to the same Pensions board, and whose letters and documents now lie in its rich, fascinating archive. Those family connections (Colm Tobin, John McGahern etc (represent a roll call of Irish literary history. As such they offer fresh perspectives on the family backgrounds of some of our best loved writers.
A brilliant post. Well worth a read.
To date there have been a number of connections between the literary/journalistic world and the revolutionary period (1916-1923) within the MSPC. The work of writers such as Pearse, Connolly, MacDonagh, Childers, Breen, Barry and O’Malley, to name but a few are well known. This post will focus on some of the less obvious connections and will briefly outline the activities of the relatives of some of the most famous authors of 20th century Irish literature.
Hannah Keane nee Purtill (MD44630), 45 Church Street, Listowel, Kerry. Keane was awarded a Service (1917-1921) Medal without Bar as a member of Listowel Company, 6 Battalion, 1 Kerry Brigade, Cumann na mBan. She was also awarded a Special Allowance under the Army Pension Acts. This allowance was paid until her death in 1989. Hannah was the mother of author John B Keane, actor Eamonn Patrick Keane and…
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