O'Connor, Ulick 1928-
O'CONNOR, Ulick 1928-
PERSONAL: Born October 12, 1928, in Dublin, Ireland; son of Matthew P. (a dean of Royal College of Surgeons) and Eileen (Murphy) Harris-O'Connor. Education: National University of Ireland, B.A.; King's Inns, Dublin, Barrister-at-Law; Loyola University, New Orleans, LA, Diploma in Dramatic Literature. Religion: Roman Catholic.
ADDRESSES: Home and office—15 Fairfield Park, Rathgar, Dublin, Ireland. Agent—(books) Howard Buck Agency, 145 East 52nd St., New York, NY 10022; (lectures) Keedick Lecture Bureau, Inc., 475 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10017.
CAREER: Has written for Sunday Independent, Dublin, Ireland, Observer, London, England, and Times, London. Lecturer on Irish literary renaissance in Stockholm, Paris, and Rome. Lecturer and reader at poetry recitals at women's clubs and colleges in United States, 1965—.
MEMBER: Wanderer's Club, Pipers Club (both Dublin).
Poems, Sceptre Press (Bedfordshire, England), 1957.
The Gresham Hotel, 1865-1965, Guy & Co. (Cork, Ireland), 1964.
James Joyce and Oliver St. John Gogarty: A Famous Friendship, Texas Quarterly, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1960.
The Times I've Seen: Oliver St. John Gogarty—A Biography, Obolensky (New York, NY), 1964, published as Oliver St. John Gogarty: A Poet and His Times, J. Cape (London, England), 1964.
Sputnik and Other Poems, Devin (New York, NY), 1967.
Travels with Ulick, Mercier Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1967.
(Editor) The Joyce We Knew: Memoirs by Eugene Sheehy and Others, Mercier Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1967.
The Dark Lovers (play), first produced in Dublin, Ireland, 1968.
Brendan Behan (biography), Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1970, published as Brendan, Prentice-Hall (Paramus, NJ), 1971.
(Editor) The Yeats We Knew, British Book Center (New York, NY), 1971.
Life Styles (poetry), Humanities (Boston, MA), 1973.
The Troubles: Ireland, 1912-1922, Bobbs-Merrill (Indianapolis, IN), 1975, published as A Terrible Beauty Is Born: Irish Troubles, 1912-1922, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1975.
The Fitzwilliam Story, 1877-1977, Fitzwilliam Tennis Club, 1977.
Three Noh Plays (contains The Grand Inquisitor, Submarine, and Deirdre), Wolfhound Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1980.
Celtic Dawn: A Portrait of the Irish Literary Renaissance, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1984.
Sport Is My Lifeline: Essays from the Sunday Times, Pelham Books (London, England), 1984.
All the Olympians: A Biographical Portrait of the Irish Literary Renaissance, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1984.
All Things Counter, Dedalus (Dublin, Ireland), 1986.
Brian Friel: Crisis and Commitment: The Writer and Northern Ireland, Elo Publications (Dublin, Ireland), 1989.
The Yeats Companion, Pavilion (London, England), 1990.
Biographers and the Art of Biography, Wolfhound Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1991.
One Is Animate, Beaver Row Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1992.
Executions, Brandon (Dingle, Ireland), 1992.
Irish Tales and Sagas, Town House (Dublin, Ireland), 1993.
(Editor) The Campbell Companion: The Best of Patrick Campbell, Pavilion (London, England), 1994.
(Translator) Poems of the Damned: Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal—The Flowers of Evil, Wolfhound Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1995.
Michael Collins and the Troubles: The Struggle for Irish Freedom, 1912-1922, Norton (New York, NY), 1996.
The Ulick O'Connor Diaries, 1970-1981: A Cavalier Irishman, John Murray (London, England), 2001.
Also author of Irish Liberation and of two recordings, "An Evening with Oliver Gogarty" and "Poems of the Insurrection," both Mercier Press. Contributor to Spectator, Listener, Theatre Arts, and other periodicals.
SIDELIGHTS: With more than two dozen works to his credit, Irish author Ulick O'Connor has spent much of his career chronicling the tumultuous history of his Irish homeland. Born October 12, 1928, in Dublin, O'Connor has gained recognition in the literary world for his biographies of Brendan Behan, Oliver St. John Gogarty, and Michael Collins, all leading figures in Ireland's struggle for independence from British rule.
For example, in Michael Collins and the Troubles: The Struggle for Irish Freedom, 1912-1922, O'Connor examined the life of Collins, who played an instrumental role in Ireland's bloody resistance against the British during the early years of the twentieth century. Culling information from a variety of sources, including historical archives and personal interviews with some of Collins's contemporaries, O'Connor presented readers with an array of previously unknown information about the man many people feel was integral to Irish independence. O'Connor is also well known for his book Celtic Dawn, in which he examined the Irish literary renaissance that took place at the end of the nineteenth century. Some critics feel the work is among his most important contributions.
An impressive athlete in his younger days, O'Connor was the British universities boxing champion in 1950 and held the Irish native record in pole vault, 1951-55. In 2001, O'Connor published an autobiographical work, titled The Ulick O'Connor Diaries, 1970-1981: A Cavalier Irishman. The book chronicles probably the most important period of O'Connor's career. Known to be brash, both as a person and a writer, O'Connor discusses many aspects of his life in the book, both professional and personal.
Between 1970 and 1981 O'Connor completed his acclaimed biographies of Behan and Gogarty and he began writing Celtic Dawn. Also during this time O'Connor became a household name in Ireland, largely because of his regular appearances on a popular television program called the Late Late Show. He discusses these experiences, as well as his forays to such places as New York City, Oslo, and Stockholm. However, some literary critics felt the book's importance was due to O'Connor's personal accounts of the political battles between Unionists and Nationalists in Northern Ireland. According to Toby Barnard, who reviewed the book for the Times Literary Supplement, the work has "permanent historical value." Liam Fay of the Sunday Times commented on O'Connor's brash writing style that reminded him of an earlier era. "The irascible and indignant writer is a throwback to the days before political correctness and sexual equality," Fay wrote. While he enjoyed certain aspects of the book, Fay felt it showed O'Connor to be overly conceited and self-centered. "What strikes one about O'Connor's diaries . . . is not so much his fearless truth telling as his self-absorption," Fay wrote. "There's barely a trace of even the mildest self-mockery anywhere in the book and little or no self-doubt. Virtually every anecdote seems to have been selected to bathe the author in a positive and often positively heroic light."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Economist, August 16, 1975.
New Republic, March 27, 1976.
New York Times Book Review, April 25, 1971; June 6, 1971.
Observer Review, July 26, 1970.
Plays and Players, October, 1970.
Saturday Review, August 7, 1976.
Sunday Times, July 1, 2001, p. 6; November 18, 2001, p. 40.
Times Literary Supplement, July 31, 1970; February 28, 1976; September 19, 1980; August 17, 2001, p. 26.
Variety, June 9, 1971.*