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Liam O'Flaherty's Birthplace, East Beach, Inishmore, the Aran Islands, Ireland

Liam O'Flaherty's Birthplace, East Beach, Inishmore, the Aran Islands, Ireland

Liam was born in the village of Gort na gCapall and for all of the identifiers listed above I neglected one of the most important from an Irish perspective, the Aran Islands, County Galway.
He was born into a poor family and spoke the Irish language. He was a student, attending three different colleges, intending himself for the priesthood.
Still remote today, how much more remote must it have been in 1908 when he left the island to study on the mainland?


Inishmore Boy Buskers

Inishmore Boy Buskers

They lilted and trilled and generally entertained with traditional Irish music.


Two-Wheeled Pony Cart

Two-Wheeled Pony Cart

The sky arcing over the island was rain-fresh. This is the mode of transportation still favored on the island. I was happy to take the reins and take to the road.


O'Flaherty's Home?

O'Flaherty's Home?

Surely, if not this small house, one very much like it, where Liam was born in 1896.


An Ancient Family Home on Inishmore

An Ancient Family Home on Inishmore

Could this be an O'Flaherty house? I don't know, but I can say that the people who were raised on this island and live here today are unique, grounded, without a closed, formal air. And they love to talk about Liam!


The Informer -- Dublin Bookseller Said Read This One.

The Informer -- Dublin Bookseller Said Read This One.

In 1917 Liam O'Flaherty joined the Irish Guards, a regiment in the British Army. He was injured in battle and perhaps was stranded on the battlefield for sometime. He suffered from this the rest of his life. The cruelty we subject soldiers to...called in his day 'shell shocked', in my dad's day 'combat fatigued' and today, a victim of post traumatic stress disorder.
But despite the mental break-downs, he was a prolific writer. Among his best, The Informer, which won the 1925 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. His cousin, John Ford, made this title into a film in 1935. From Inishmore to Hollywood, imagine that!


Liam O'Flaherty, Author, Irishman, Forward Thinker

Liam O'Flaherty, Author, Irishman, Forward Thinker

I've read that Liam had a love of French and Russian culture. Some biographers point to that as the reason he was interested in Communism. My question is, what thinking person, having lived through the horror of World War I, wouldn't find a new system of interest?
His letters detailing his travels were published posthumously. Being the voyeur I am, I find writers' letters a delicious peek into their interior lives. Enough. Simply read, The Letters of Liam O'Flaherty (1996).