Edmund Leamy

Life
1848-1904; b. Waterford, ed. locally and at Tullybeg Jesuit School; solicitor, 1878; bar, 1885; Waterford MP, 1880; Cork, 1885; S. Sligo, 1887; Kildare, 1900; IPP nominee; supported Parnell after Split; appointed ed. of United Ireland after it had been taken from the anti-Parnellites; Collected and published fairy tales; some fiction; Irish Fairy Tales (1889; rep. edn. [Gill] 1906); The Fairy Minstrel of Glenmalure; By the Barrow River; Golden Spears. d. at Pau; he is a close friend of John Redmond and ‘that most charming of Nationalists’ in Wells’s life of Redmond (1919). PI JMC IF DIW DIH OCIL.

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Commentary
W. P. Ryan, The Irish Literary Revival (1894), Edmund Leamy has not fared further in that world of delicate and delightful imaginings which he opened some years ago with his Irish Fairy Tales. A real poet and a real gael it was who summoned back those charming fairy presences to Irish haunts. When superior people talk about the Irish intellectual poverty of the last decade, or wonder where the new literature is to come from, this is one of the works to show and silence them. As editor of United Ireland, Mr Leamy in days of painful politics kept many a corner bright for Irish litterateurs. [145].

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References
Justin McCarthy, gen. ed., Irish Literature (1904) selects “The Gold Spears” [prose], from Irish Fairy Tales [once upon a time there lived in a little house under a hill a little old woman and her two children, whose names were Connla and Nora. Right on front of the door of the little house lay a pleasant meadow ..’ (their house is turned into a palace by a little old man)]; also, “A Royal Love” [‘I loved a love - a royal love - / In the golden long ago’ [...] And she had stately palace walls / In the golden ... &c]. Leamy had not yet died at the time of compilation. B. Waterford, Christmas Day, 1848; ed. University High School, and Tullabeg College [Jesuit]; called to Irish bar, 1885; Waterford MP, 1880, Parnellite; unsuccessfully contested Galway, 1900; Irish Fairy Tales [2nd edn. 1906], and The Fairy Minstrel of Glenmalure; also uncollected stories in Irish newpapers and magazines.

Dictionary of National Biography [DNB] also lists Edward Daniel Leahy (1797-1875); portrait and subject painter; exhibited RA and British Institution, 1820-53; lived in Italy, 1837-43; painted portraits of many leading Irishmen. O'Donoghue’s Poets of Ireland cites 3 poems in John Francis Meagher’s Songs for Campaigners;

Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction (1919) lists Irish Fairy Tales [1889], xix+155pp; the new ed. being introduced by John Redmond with note by TPG, ill. ?George Fagan; child audience; draws on O’Curry and Joyce; The Fairy Minstrel of Glenmalure (Duffy, 448pp, n.d.), 48pp. [Irish children, little old men and little old women]; By the Barrow River and Other stories (1907), 20 in number, incl. ghosts, Irish brigade, early Ireland; Golden Spears (1911), American ed. of Irish Fairy Tales.

Ulster Libraries: Belfast Central Public Library holds Art MacMurrough Kavanagh (n.d.); Irish Fairy Tales. Library of Herbert Bell (Belfast) holds The Fairy Minstrel of Glenmalure [n.d.]. Hyland Books (Cat. 220/Jan. 1996) lists Irish Fairy Tales (2nd edn. 1906), ills. by S. Ua Fagain.

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Notes
By the Barrow River
, Edmund Leamy, advertised backpages of Sam. Ferguson, Congal, 1907 (Sealy Bryers & W. n.d.), with review notice from Cardinal Logue; short stories; review notice also cited from Freeman’s Journal, Australia.

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