Brian Trevaskis-what happened to him?

Lao-Tse

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Lao-Tse

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Sadly it seems he committed suicide - according to this report on account of the furore over his remarks
The Late Late Show at AllExperts
I don't know-that claim of alleged suicide was on Wikipedia, but it was deleted because there was no source for it. I did read somewhere that there was
a "Brian Trevaskis" who attended for a funeral in Cornwall last year-could it
be the same man?

OBITUARIES
 

Didimus

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Saw that obituary too. Shouldn't have posted without checking further.
 

Panopticon

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My understanding is that he joined the Anglican clergy and went to the UK; I don't know anything for sure after that. I met someone at a Phil society event in TCD once who knew him when they were students, Trevaskis being a president of the Phil at the time.
 

Lao-Tse

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Trevaskis died in 1980. :(

According to the Irish Times of June 24th, 1980:

Mr. Brian Trevaskis, the writer who was a well-known student figure
in Dublin in the 1960s, died in the Mater Hospital early yesterday after
he was hit by a train in the Long Arch Bridge area of Cabra late on
Sunday.
The June 27th IT has an obituary "Brian Trevaskis:An Appreciation".
 
Last edited:

darkknight

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from Dictionary of Irish Biography blog:


In 1966, my father appeared on The Late Late Show, a very long-running Saturday-night TV show that became an outlet for all sorts of discontent in Ireland. My dad contributed to a discussion of popular radio and TV series, one of which he wrote. After he'd left the stage, the real fun began (I was allowed to stay up to watch). A Trinity College undergraduate named Brian Trevaskis said some very rude things about Bishop Browne and his cathedral: one of the words he used was "moron". All hell broke loose - saying even politely critical things about the church was rare in public discourse in those days, and invectve virtually unknown. The papers were full of back and forth for days, and eventually Trevaskis returned to The Late Late Show to apologize. I was allowed to stay up and my memory is that Trevaskis cut a very unimpressive figure to my young eyes and ears - I basically thought he sold out, like Mick Jagger singing "Let's spend some time together" on Ed Sullivan. The record seems to suggest that Trevaskis wasn't as abject as I recall, and that he was quite rude again to Browne.

Of the two, Trevaskis turns out to be the more interesting figure. In 1966, he was quite an old undergraduate (26 or 27) and, contrary to the image of the Trinity student of the time, was both catholic and working class - he had been raised for at least part of his life in an orphanage. He became president of the Trinity debating society, the Phil, and wrote a couple of plays. He also failed his English exams and had to leave. My old undergraduate tutor, Nick Grene, who now has a chair at Trinity and who performed in Trevaskis' plays, kindly provided some memories of him:

Brian was a quiet spoken, heavy-set man with a red complexion, who was bent on defying all the orthodoxies. He supposedly failed his English exams because he determined to go to the zoo rather than attend the Anglo-Saxon exam, which he regarded as a waste of time; unfortunately he mixed up the timetable and therefore missed another of the literature papers, thereby failing more of the year than was acceptable.

In the wake of this setback, he moved to Cornwall (Trevaskis is a Cornish name), joined the church of England, went for a while to Bristol University, and eventually returned to Ireland. He engaged constantly in controversy; attacked, for instance, the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Easter rising in 1966, the inability of the Irish in Britain to vote in elections back home, the decision of the Abbey Theatre to stage a play by Boucicault that he deemed to be paddywhackery, and dubbing the ruling Fianna Fáil party "neo-fascist". He was hit by a train in north Dublin in 1980, and died. I've read accounts that he committed suicide, but have been unable to confirm these. He seemed to me in the spring of 1966 - I was not yet 9 - to be intelligent, articulate and very angry. As Nick Grene wrote to me: "I was very sad to hear of his later life and death: a waste of energy and talent." Bishop Browne had nothing to do with the death, but he was in a way part of the Ireland that Trevaskis couldn't live with. The old Ireland, I think: it all seems much longer ago.
 

eyelight

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He was one of the few who knew the measure of the poisonous clerics back when most Irish were kissing bishop's rings.
 

Peter Holt

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I met Brian Trevaskis in spring 1964 in Edinburgh, near where he was studying English literature at Newbattle Abbey College, preparatory to applying to university. We discussed Ireland's role in the United Nations. I asked if he was related to Sir Kennedy Trevaskis (1915-90), at that time British High Commissioner for Aden. Yes, said Brian, he's my uncle, who put me in an orphanage and hasn't taken much interest otherwise. Also Brian's grandfather Hugh Trevaskis (died 1962) was a senior colonial official, in India, retiring early to become an Anglican clergyman, vicar of Rusper in Sussex.
I think Brian was initially in the Merchant Navy, writing plays in his spare time -- it was on the basis of the plays and an interview that he got into Newbattle Abbey College. The College is for mature students who have left school without any certificates qualifying them for university entrance.
Peter Holt, Switzerland
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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As they say, "thanks for the memory".

I do, dimly, remember Brian Trevaskis at TCD — he just about overlapped my final year. He was older than most of us, even as a Fresher, and it showed. He always seemed on the edge of where it was happening, Players, the Phil ...

He mainly missed the Great Days of the early 1960s, for which see the original, and best Trinity Tales, though that is dubiously focused on the peculiar group of émigrés around DU Players.

Still, the older I get, the better I was. And similarly with the times.
 

IamScout

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Mr Holt, your reposting of 50-year-old pub 'tomfoolery' titte-tattle has deeply upset me. Sir Kennedy Trevaskis was my uncle; I have never had a brother or cousin called Brian, nor was my mother or aunt the kind to wish, or allow, their children to be put in orphanages, or otherwise 'forgotten'. Please be so kind as to amend your post to reflect facts.(It is sad that a comment originally told as a 'jolly jape', over a drink, to an audience of one, can now be broadcast to a potential world-wide readership.)
 

nationalsday

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Most people know the story about how Brian Trevaskis turned
up on the "Late Late Show" and caused an outrage with his
criticisms of the Bishop of Galway and the poverty in Ireland
at the time.

The Late Late Show - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Scoilnet - Look at History through the RTE Archives

But what happened to Trevaskis afterwards? Does anyone
know?
My parents used speak about him when I was a child and they thought that he was a great anti-establishment figure. From what I recall of them telling me -they are both deceased and my memory might not be accurate - he was one of a group of secondary school Leaving Certificate students who were expelled from O'Connell's Schools in Dublin for being in possession of chairman Mao's "little red book". This could be a folk myth, however - and I wonder if any other posters could verify.

Another poster mentioned his time while in Trinity. If he was studying English in Trinity in the 1970's and completing Anglo Saxon examinations then at that time the department was broken into two distinct and separate branches for both Medieval and Modern moderatorship courses. Professor Green was, I think, head of the Medieval department, and the department was quite small in terms of student numbers. One could study for a full two subject degree in both English courses over four years comprising both medieval and and modern courses, or could either study for one of the English courses with a separate degree in another subject e.g. French or History. My recollection from friends in Trinity at the time is that if you were a mature student you were offered one "good" or useful course e.g. modern English or History and then a second crap/useless course e.g Biblical Studies; Ancient History and Archeology; or, Classical Civilisation as the other part of the two subject moderatorship.

When I was there just a couple of years later the place was full of English ex public schoolboys - Eton, Harrow, Charterhouse, Downside and Stoneyhurst, primarily, who's fathers' had attended in the 1950's when Trinity was still a good substitute to Oxford or Cambridge. It was also full of people who had attended either Columbas' or ex pupils of Dublin protestant day schools who all seemed to know each other. In spite of Trevaskis being the head of the Phil I would say that he must have had his work cut out in integrating with all of the cliques who had different backgrounds than him
 


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