Flann O'Brien Centenary
Article Posted: Monday 3rd October, 2011
The Flann O’Brien Centenary
October 5th will mark the hundredth anniversary of the birth of one of the great comic geniuses, and one of the most inspired literary minds, of the twentieth century. He was born Brian O’Nolan in 1911 in County Tyrone but the Family moved to Inchicore in 1915 where they remained until 1920.
It was there that they saw the Irish Volunteers drilling close to their home on Sarsfield Road. In 1916. During Easter week when the Rising was in full swing the children said that they saw military balloons floating over their house in Inchicore.
Brian O'Nolan is most widely remembered as Flann O’Brien, the pseudonym under which he published “At Swim-Two-Birds” and “The Third Policeman,” two uniquely strange and formally inventive novels. Edna O’Brien (no relation, obviously) once wrote that “along with Joyce and Beckett, Flann O’Brien constitutes our trinity of great Irish writers,” and even if there’s something glib about that notion, there’s something attractive about it too. It’s tempting to picture Joyce as the inscrutable and dominant Father of Irish authors, Beckett as the suffering, ascetic, visionary Son, and Flann O’Brien as the shape-shifting Holy Comic Spirit.
The O'Nolan Family in Inchicore