• Due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software, some users were "banned" when they tried to change their passwords at the end of February. This does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you were affected by this, please contact us.




Brendan Behan's 90th birthday

Blacknorth

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
368
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.
 


cathalbrugha

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Messages
9,224
Happy Birthday to Behaner.. He's 90 and he only got one happy birthday card from Piesters?
 

cricket

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 7, 2009
Messages
14,029
Died far too young. An inconsistent writer, some of his stuff top class, other just mediocre.
 

cathalbrugha

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Messages
9,224
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..
 

gatsbygirl20

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
22,790
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...
 

statsman

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
56,265
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.
 

Truth.ie

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 5, 2008
Messages
28,078
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".
 

amsterdemmetje

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Messages
16,933
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:cool:
 

Paddyc

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Messages
9,487
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"
 

cathalbrugha

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Messages
9,224
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".
I think Confessions of an Irish Rebel was a bit all over the place, as I think he instinctively knew that he was dying when it was being written.. Maybe I'm wrong but that's the impression I got from it.. It was like he was trying to get it all down on paper before he popped his cloggs..
 

tipp revolution

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2011
Messages
2,603
the auld triangle sung by Luke Kelly written by Dominic Behan for his brother - I heard it sung in the cobblestone one night where the whole pub joined in in harmony - a magic moment.
Luke Kelly The Auld Triangle - YouTube
 

amsterdemmetje

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Messages
16,933
the auld triangle sung by Luke Kelly written by Dominic Behan for his brother - I heard it sung in the cobblestone one night where the whole pub joined in in harmony - a magic moment.
Luke Kelly The Auld Triangle - YouTube
I sang that song in a German pub one night in Mainz.

The Musician didn't know all the words and the German punters were requesting the song all night .When I sang it, you could here a pin drop. They have a great appreciation of all music
 

Ex celt

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
8,375
I sang that song in a German pub one night in Mainz.

The Musician didn't know all the words and the German punters were requesting the song all night .When I sang it, you could here a pin drop. They have a great appreciation of all music
You are far too modest.
You are in for a hiding tomorrow at the Aviva btw. If you watch the game you will note that the ball is a different shape to a bogball.
 

james toney

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
16,183
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...
I have read Brenda Behan,A Life,by M.Sullivan,never heard of "Dead as Doornails" Is it worth a read?
 

cnocpm

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
4,841
You are far too modest.
You are in for a hiding tomorrow at the Aviva btw. If you watch the game you will note that the ball is a different shape to a bogball.
Critics are like Eunuchs in a harem;they know how it's done they've seen it done everyday,
But they are unable to do it themselves.
 

44percent

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,230
I must actually read something by Behan to see if there is any merit to the claims advanced about his work. The whole alcoholic paddywhacery loser failed IRA stuff and convict doesn't establish any credibility. Lets see if there's a Behan ebook.
 

inchicore_republican

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2007
Messages
671
How long before Hitch and the gang will be on this thread calling him all sorts of names because of his involvement in the IRA.
 

gatsbygirl20

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
22,790
I have read Brenda Behan,A Life,by M.Sullivan,never heard of "Dead as Doornails" Is it worth a read?
I think it is brilliant, in that it is beautifully written by a truly gifted writer--as Cronin is, and it was written before the modern trend for tell-all celebrity biographies, so it does not have that cheapo, agenda-led tone to it...

Cronin spends a chapter describing a trip he and Behan--totally impoverished, not a penny--made to Paris

He also goes into detail about the bad blood--and the fights--that broke out between Behan and Kavanagh.

You'd really enjoy it, I'd say.
 

New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top