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Peadar O'Donnell Biography

(1893–1986), The Gates Flew Open, Salud! An Irishman in Spain, There Will Be Another Day

irish novelist workers war

Irish novelist, editor, and political activist, born in Meenmore, Co. Donegal, educated at St Patrick's Teacher Training College, Dublin. After working for the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union in 1918, he joined the IRA in 1919 and fought in the War of Independence. Opposing the Treaty of 1921, he took the side of the republicans in the Civil War, was captured in 1922, and imprisoned for two years. Throughout his life, O'Donnell remained true to his republican and socialist beliefs, the determined practice of which are recorded in the three volumes of his autobiography, The Gates Flew Open (1932), Salud! An Irishman in Spain (1937), and There Will Be Another Day (1963). O'Donnell's career as a novelist began with Storm (1925), Islanders (1927), and Adrigoole (1929), works whose portrayal of the deprived and decimated communities of the west of Ireland cry out for the advent of social justice. His other novels include The Knife (1930), which concerns the poverty caused by the seasonal and necessary migration of Irish workers to Scotland. O'Donnell edited The Bell from 1946 until its demise in 1954.

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