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Bryan MacMahon Collection: Home

The personal collection of the writer Bryan MacMahon.

About the Collection

The collection comprises the personal collection of Bryan MacMahon and reflects his interests.

The collection prefix before the call number is: MacMahon.

Biographical History

Bryan MacMahon (1909-1998) was a noted Irish playwright, novelist and short story. He was born to Patrick and Joanna MacMahon, in Listowel, County Kerry. His father was a member of the Gaelic League and he learned his love for the Irish language from his grandmother, who was a native Irish speaker. He attended St. Patrick's Teacher Training College in Drumcondra, County Dublin and afterwards taught in Dublin. In 1931 he resigned his post and returned to Listowel where he became principal teacher of Scoil Réalta na Maidine. During World War II MacMahon worked in factories in England and described his experiences in The Bell. Later he opened a book shop in Listowel.

In 1970 with John B. Keane and other Irish playwrights, he founded Listowel Writers' Week an international literary festival. In 1992 MacMahon published his first autobiography, The Master, which documented his career in teaching. The book won the 1993 American Ireland Literary Award. In 1994 MacMahon published his second autobiography, The Storyman, which focused on his career as a writer.

MacMahon was awarded many accolades for his contributions to Irish literature including the Kerryman of the Year award in 1987, American Ireland Fund Literary Award in 1993 and the award of the degree of LID from the National University of Ireland in recognition of his work. MacMahon was a member of the Aosdána. He is known for his English translation of Peig, the Irish-language autobiography of Peig Sayers.


The collection was acquired in 2016 from his son Maurice.

Collection Highlights

More Information

UCC Library Archives holds the personal papers of Bryan MacMahon and these are being listed.