Brian Behan

Life
1927-?; b. Dublin, br. of Brendan and Dominic and third s. of Kathleen and Stephen Behan; with Aubrey Dillon-Malone; travelled to Russia and China for trades-union movement; issued With Breast Expanded (1964), a memoir; entered Sussex Univ. as mature student during the late 1960s; Time to Go (1979}, a novel, and Kathleen: A Dublin Saga (1988), with historical and pseudonymic characters of early twentieth-century cultural and political life in Ireland; also Brothers Behan 1999); and The Mother of All the Behans (1984, rep. 1994), taken down from his mother’s memories, a stage version of which appeared at Andrews Lane Th. (Dublin) as Mother of All the Behans (Dec.-Jan. 1995), with Rosaleen Linehan in the title role.

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Works
Fiction
, Time to Go (London: Martin Brian O’Keeffe 1979), 158pp.; Kathleen: A Dublin Saga (London: Century 1988), [2], 304pp.

Memoirs , With Breast Expanded (London: MacGibbon & Kee 1964; new edn. London: Select 1991); Brothers Behan Dublin: Ashfield Press 1999), 257pp.; Mother of all the Behans: The Story of Kathleen Behan (London: Hutchinson, 1984), 137pp., 8 pls., reiss. as The Mother of All the Behans: the Autobiography of Kathleen Behan (London: Arena 1985); and Do. [re. edn.] (Dublin: Poolbeg Press; Chester Springs: Dufour Edns. 1994); Brothers Behan (Dublin: Ashfield Press 1999), 257pp.

Miscellaneous, Preface to John Carswell, The autobiography of a Working Man, ed. Alexander Somerville [Fitzroy Edition] (London: MacGibbon & Kee 1967), 288pp., front. port.

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Commentary
Obituary, The Irish Times (9 Nov. 2002): br. Brendan and Dominic Behan; d. Nov. 2002, aetat 75; wrote memoir, With Breast Expanded (1964); angered by Dominic’s critical view of the IRA in Posterity be Damned (1960); traded insults with Dominic on Kenny Live in Oct. 1988; issued The Brothers Behan (1998); Behan family incl. Brendan, Dominic, Brian, Séamus and Carmel; also Rory and Séan Furlong from Cathleen’s first marriage; father interned in Civil War; mother acted as courier for the 1916 leaders; uncle Peadar Kearney author of national anthem; lived in Russell St., inner city Dublin, ‘an island of tenements surrounded by petty middle-class respectability’, rent-free in property belonging to Brian’s paternal grandmother; ed. N. William ST., convent school and Francis St. National School; joined Irish Army; headed to London for work; hodcarrier and trade-union activist; took part in delegation to Soviet Union and China, 1951; depressed by gap between life style of leadership and ordinary people; photographed with Mao (The Observer, 1951); joined Socialist Labour League (Trot.), led by Gerry Healy (here ‘thuggish Corkman’); expelled from Anarchists and from Labour for opposing leadership; enrolled at Sussex Univ., as mature student, 1969; undertook teaching course; lecturer in media studies at London College of Printing, 1973-1990; resided in houseboat at Shoreham, throwing numerous parties; quit when five shots were fired at it in 1970s; issued Time to Go (1979), Mother of all the Behans (1984), ‘an autobiography of Kathleen Behan as told to Brian Behan’, adapted for stage by Peter Sheridan and Rosaleen Linehan; also a novel, Kathleen; also Boots for the Footless (1990), a play, slated for stage-Irishness and called ‘the nearest thing to theatrical necrophilia one could not wish to see’ by Irish Times critic; Behan retorted, ‘I regard being stage-Irish as a trade like any other’; box office success; m. Celia Johnson, 1951, and divorced in 1975; m. Sally Hill, d.2000; survived by five children.

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