David Thornley

Life
1935-1978; b. Surrey; Irish mother and English father; ed. TCD and TCD lecturer in political economy, becoming an Irish republican socialist; Isaac Butt and Home Rule (1964); issued Isaac Butt and Home Rule (1964), arguing that Butt was converted to Home Rule by his defence of the Fenians; contrib. an historical introduction to Basil Chubb, Government of Ireland; issued articles and short stories; idolised Pearse; proverbially carried a gun; died drunk. FDA

[ top ]

Works
Isaac Butt and Home Rule (London: MacGibbon & Kee 1964), and Do. [facs. rep.] (Conn: Greenwood Press 1976), 413pp.

Ireland: The End of an Era? [Tuairim pamphlet, 12] (Dublin: Dublin Branch of Tuairim 1965), 17pp. [prev. in Studies, Spring 1964]; with Basil Chubb, Irish Government Observed [Irish Times ser.] (Dublin: The Irish Times [1965]), 36pp.

[ top ]

Criticism
Yseult Thornley, ed., Unquiet Spirit: Essays in Memory of David Thornley (Dublin: Liberties Press 2008), 288pp. [prev. noticed as Radical, Republican, Socialist [...; &c.] (Dublin: Liberties Press 2008), 224pp.

[ top ]

Commentary
R. F. Foster, ‘Varieties of Irishness’ [inaugural lecture], in Maurna Crozier, ed., Cultural Traditions in Northern Ireland [Proceedings of the Cultural Traditions Group Conference (Belfast: IIS 1989), pp.5-24: offers criticism of Thornley’s conception that Butt was converted to Home Rule by his experience in defending the Fenians in 1867 (p.10; see under Isaac Butt, supra).

[ top ]

Quotations
Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 3, remarks and quotes: ‘As David Thornley wrote in the optimistic atmosphere of the 1960s, “It seems certain that our island will become affected increasingly by the spread of European social and philosophical ideas, strongly tinged with Catholicism [...] and that our social habits and our politics will take on the flavour that is ever more urban and, as a consequence, ever more cosmopolitan. And this in turn will sound the death-knell of the attempt to preserve any kind of indigenous Gaelic folk culture in these islands”.’ (From Ireland, The End of an Era?, Tuairum Pamphlet No. 12, 1965, p.12; cited in Terence Brown, A Social and Cultural History, 1922-79 [1980], p.243).

[ top ]

References
Belfast Public Library holds Isaac Butt and Home Rule (1964).

[ top ]