R. A. Wilson

Life
?1820-1875 [Robert Arthur Wilson; pseud. ‘Barney Maglone’]; b. Falcaragh, Donegal, 1820; emigrated to America, 1840; contrib. to The Nation on his return; established role as humorous writer under pseud. of ‘Barney Maglone’; leader writer to Morning News and editor for 14 months before his death; poems Reliques of Barney Maglone (1894); d. 10 aug., in consequence of ‘too vigorous participation in the O’Connell centenary celebrations in Dublin’ (O’Byrne). PI ODNB DIL MKA OCIL DUB

[ top ]

Works
Barney Maglone’s Almeynack for all Irelnd (London 1871); John S. Crone, ed., The Reliques of Barney Maglone, with preface by D. J. O’Donoghue (Belfast: T. Dargan 1894). COMM, Robert McGahan, Life of Barney Maglone [n.d.]

[ top ]

Commentary
D. J. O’Donoghue, preface to J. S. Crone’s edition of The Reliques of Barney Maglone (Belfast: T. Dargan 1894), givies biographical data, from which DIL is compiled, b. Dunfanaghy, Donegal; a Presbyterian; teacher at Ballycastle; journalist on American Boston Republic, settled in Enniskillen in 1847; sub-ed. the Nation, 1849 ; Impartial Reporter, Enniskillen; Fermanagh Mail, commenced Barney Maglone articles; Morning News, Belfast, 1865; Almeynack for all Ireland, an’ Whoever else wants it (1871); author of temperance poems, and poems praising poteen; O’Donoghue admits that his poetry was damaged by carelessness. SEE also ‘barney Maglone of the old ‘Morning News’, in Cathal O’Byrne, As I Roved Out (Dublin: Three Candles 1946), pp.115-_

McKenna, Irish Literature (1978), cites Crone, in IBL 12 (1921); and Ruddick Millar, in Irish Bookman 2 (1947), giving affectionate picture. SEE ALSO Life, by R. McGahan (n.d.); Reliques, ed. Crone, J. S., with memoir by D. J. O’Donoghue.

[ top ]

References
D. J. O’Donoghue, Poets of Ireland (Dublin: Hodges Figgis 1912), cites Reliques of Barney Maglone, ed. F. J. Bigger & John S. Crone, with memoir by D. J. O’Donoghue [1894].

Justin McCarthy, gen. ed., Irish Literature (1904), gives ‘The Irish Cry’.

Ulster Libraries: Belfast Central Public Library holds R. A. Wilson (pseud. Barney Maglone) ed. F J Bigger and J S Crone (1894); also, Belfast Linen Hall Library, cuttings: ‘Maglone Minor, Antrim v. McMullen’, in Ulster Weekly News.

[ top ]

Quotations
Poems incl., ‘Father O’Carroll, a Legend of Ballycastle, Co. Antrim’; ‘To Ireland’ [‘Of all the lands the sun shines on/Ireland is the fairest one/though not so grandly splendid.’; ‘Bee and the Flowerlet’ is pleasantly indecent [‘He kissed her, he teased her, he rumpled her too’; some Burns poems, ‘I wann, maunna, canna change/In my fond thoughts of thee, lass’. ‘Potheen’ includes the lines, ‘I love the tender crayther/All in her punchy dhress/And when she’s mother naked/I love her none the less’; also a piece on the death of G[ustavus]. V[aughan]. Brooke, who went down in the SS London; ‘The Green’ shows him a patriot, ‘The orange lily rears its head the pride of many a walk,/And bends its lady head above its proud and splendid stalk;/But what’s the colour of the stem, itself and earth between?/The stalk that bears the lily up is still the glorious green. ... When Earth and Faction cease for us, and we are all alone,/The mantle that our Mother spreads above our grave/Is still the colour of our land, our own sad, lovely green!’ (From Poetry of Barney Maglone.)

[ top ]

Notes
Wilson dressed fancifully with slope hat and coloured scarves, and died of drink (JS Crone, Pref. to Reliques.)

[ top ]