Brendan Behan

Category : Arts and Culture

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About this Exhibition

Born in 1923, Brendan Behan was raised at 13 Russell Street in Dublin's north inner city. He became one of Ireland's best-known writers and talkers. Having joined the IRA at the age of sixteen, Behan served time in a borstal institution in England and in prison in Ireland. Released from prison as part of a general amnesty in 1946, Behan moved between Dublin, Kerry and Connemara and spent time in Paris, writing in both Irish and English. He wrote articles for 'The Irish Press' and two radio plays for Radio Éireann.

'The Quare Fellow', Behan's first play, was produced in 1954 in Dublin. He married Beatrice ffrench-Salkeld in 1955. In 1958, Behan's play in the Irish language 'An Giall' was performed at Dublin's Damer Theatre. Afterwards, 'The Hostage', Behan's English language adaptation of 'An Giall', met with great success internationally following Joan Littlewood's production in London in 1958. 'Borstal Boy', Behan's autobiographical novel, was published the same year and became an immediate best seller.

International success and financial reward were followed by an increase in Behan's drinking problems. Suffering from diabetes, compounded by years of heavy drinking, he died on 20 March 1964.The photograph accompanying this clip shows Brendan Behan leaving the High Court in 1961 and is reproduced here with the kind permission of http://www.irishphotoarchive.ie



Brendan Behan

Category: Arts and Culture

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