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Thread: Brendan Behan's 90th birthday

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    Politics.ie Member Blacknorth's Avatar
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    Default Brendan Behan's 90th birthday

    If still alive, author, poet, playwright, rebel and all round craic addict Brendan Behan would today be celebrating his 90th birthday.

    Always a controversial figure, he was arrested at the age of 16 for planning to bomb Liverpool and was sentenced to 3 years in borstal (the subject of the first part of his autobiography, Borstal Boy). On his return to Ireland, it wasn't long before he was back in prison for his IRA activities. After his release he began to forge a very successful career as a journalist and playwright, with his first play, "The Quare Fellow" debuting in 1953.

    Some love him whilst others aren't so fond of him. Patrick Kavannagh for one detested him, the pair never saw eye to eye. He is however undoubtedly one of our greatest modern writers and his books, Borstal Boy and Confessions of an Irish Rebel are two of my favourite books and I would seriously recommend them to anyone. They're both heartwarming and hilarious. Happy birthday Brendan.

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    Never read anything by him. Maybe I should.

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    Happy Birthday to Behaner.. He's 90 and he only got one happy birthday card from Piesters?

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    Died far too young. An inconsistent writer, some of his stuff top class, other just mediocre.

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    [QUOTE=Fr. Hank Tree;6395501]Never read anything by him. Maybe I should.[/QUOTE

    You don't know what you're missing.. The first/second book I ever read was a Brendan Behan book.. He was a great writer and no one can take that away from him..

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    Anthony Cronin's wonderfully written book "Dead As Door Nails" gives a vivid description of Behan, Kavanagh and the Dublin of their era...

    It's amazing how famous and revered Behan was in the bohemian New York of the 1950s--hanging out in Beat haunts in Greenwich Village, drinking in the White Horse, etc...

    His plane from Shannon to New York was delayed once and he was due as a guest that night on a chat show. The TV company got him a police escort of outriders to make it from the airport to the studio on time.

    The chat show host smugly said: "I bet that's the first time a police escort was laid on for you, Mr Behan"

    "No" replied Behan "But the last time, I was handcuffed to them"

    Playwright John Osborne celebrating his smash hit play in New York Look Back In Anger recalls Behan welcoming him to New York by thumping on his hotel room door nearly breaking it down: "Is there anyone at all awake in this fukkin cat house?"

    Osborne describes him as "gentle". Kavanagh, or many who dealt with him in Dublin, might not agree...

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    Politics.ie Member statsman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blacknorth View Post
    If still alive, author, poet, playwright, rebel and all round craic addict Brendan Behan would today be celebrating his 90th birthday.

    Always a controversial figure, he was arrested at the age of 16 for planning to bomb Liverpool and was sentenced to 3 years in borstal (the subject of the first part of his autobiography, Borstal Boy). On his return to Ireland, it wasn't long before he was back in prison for his IRA activities. After his release he began to forge a very successful career as a journalist and playwright, with his first play, "The Quare Fellow" debuting in 1953.

    Some love him whilst others aren't so fond of him. Patrick Kavannagh for one detested him, the pair never saw eye to eye. He is however undoubtedly one of our greatest modern writers and his books, Borstal Boy and Confessions of an Irish Rebel are two of my favourite books and I would seriously recommend them to anyone. They're both heartwarming and hilarious. Happy birthday Brendan.
    I doubt it. The poems in Irish are good, as are some of the short stories. His theatre writings are very average, and him memoirs intermittently entertaining. If he'd stayed off the drink he might have done something.
    Put a thief among honest men and they will eventually relieve him of his watch. Flann O'Brien

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    He describes in his book, that he never felt as alive as the moment he shot the Garda Special Branch officer in Glasnevin (I think)

    I have a very old Borstal Boy (from the 50's I think) somewhere.
    Preferred "Confessions of an Irish rebel".

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    Ding dong bell
    Hannas in the well.
    Who threw her in?
    Little Terry Flynn.
    Behan, taunting one of The Quare fellas on death row.What there not to like
    Gemakzucht.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truth.ie View Post
    He describes in his book, that he never felt as alive as the moment he shot the Garda Special Branch officer in Glasnevin (I think)

    I have a very old Borstal Boy (from the 50's I think) somewhere.
    Preferred "Confessions of an Irish rebel".
    He got eight years for attempted murder - as he said himself - a year for every yard I missed him by"

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