Denis Ireland Collection

Denis Ireland (1894-1974) was a freelance writer and broadcaster. The Linen Hall Library holds first editions of his published works, articles published by him, tapes of BBC interviews, photographs and collected letters. Ireland was born in the north of Ireland, educated at Belfast Academical Institution and started to study medicine at Queen's University, Belfast before joining the Royal Irish Fusiliers in France and Greece during World War I. He was invalided with the rank of captain. After the war he represented his family linen firm, travelling in Britain, Canada and the United States. Ireland changed direction again in the thirties when he decided to pursue a career devoted to writing. He worked briefly as a talks assistant with the BBC. He was described by Robert Greacen as "something of a white blackbird, that is, an Ulster Protestant - Presbyterian in fact -with strong nationalist sympathies, a sort of throwback to the radical Presbyterians of the late eighteenth century who supported the demands of their Catholic fellow-countrymen for reform". His writing supports this notion. He wrote many articles, pamphlets and books espousing his political ideals. He became a member of the Irish Senate in 1948 until 1951, being the first resident of Northern Ireland to become a member of the Oireachtas. His works include Red Brick City, From the Irish Shore (1936), an autobiography, Patriot Adventurer (1936), a short life of Tone, The Age of Unreason (1942), and Six Counties in Search of a Nation (1947). Died in a Belfast nursing home, 23 September 1974. In his work Red Brick City Ireland claimed Ulster Presbyterians to be the only natural republicans in Ireland. In this work he examines the changes that occurred in Ulster Presbyterianism from the eighteenth century on wards.

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Added by Linen Hall Library | Last updated on: 08 February 2018