conversations in his father’s
pub in the heart of
Wexford town with the famous and infamous of the
50s, 60s and 70s influenced and inspired much of his
writings as a newspaper columnist, later as an author of
many books, a playwright and as a scriptwriter for radio
and War Affairs
Wexford town then had a thriving maritime, farming and
small business trade. Everybody knew everybody else and
they or relatives or friends had lived through two World
Wars, the Easter Rising of 1916, the Economic
Depression of the 30s and emigration of the 50s. The
crewmen from the ships that sailed the seas and farmers
from the rural areas came to share their knowledge of
world and war affairs, politics, religion, sport and
poverty with the townspeople in Furlong's pub.
Furlong in his Library
Nicholas Furlong’s childhood spent on the family's dairy
farm at Mulgannon and Kellystown, Drinagh near the town
of Wexford and in his father’s public house in the
middle of Wexford town’s main street are the backdrop to his wealth of cultural and historical
experience and knowledge.
attendedPresentation Convent Schools, Christian
Brothers Schools, St. Peter's College, Wexford, the Salesian Agricultural College, Warrenstown, Co Meath and
achieved an honours Extra-Mural Diploma in Social
Economic Studies from UCD.
Insights into Families
later joined Pierces, the makers of agricultural
machinery. He became an inspector and a ‘beet
agent’ for the Irish Sugar Company which introduced him
to farm families throughout his native county Wexford.
This experience gave him wider perspectives and deeper
insights into the culture and way of life of families in
rural areas contrasting with those of his urban and pub
writing career started as a freelance journalist in
1958. He became a satirical and human affairs columnist
with People Group Newspapers (INM Group) under the pen
name “Pat O’Leary”. (On microfilm, Wexford County
firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone 053 9140100.
Nicholas and Mairead Furlong on the Volga River in
interest in history developed with his membership of the
Wexford Historical Society. He was elected President of
the Society. He was also elected a Life Fellow
and Vice-President (Leinster) of the Royal Society of
Antiquaries of Ireland. He
is a Council member of the Ui Chennselaig
Society. In 1969 he
was elected also to the Council of the world-famous
Wexford Opera Festival. He is currently Festival Tours
administrator for the Festival.
WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT HIM
Donagh McDonagh, Oct. 14 1967
Stop fucking around. You have buckets of talent but you are dissipating it in the Wexford People, Smiths, Pierces. You are a rich man. Inside you there is a big something struggling to get out and you are piddling it away in Pat O’Leary et son frčres. Write out of experience but find what Eliot calls the objective correlative as you have to an extent in Pat O’Leary. Write the novel of Pat O’Leary. Why has there never been a Wexford novel?
Style of Forster, Hardy, Houlihan, O’Brien, Kavanagh…
author and former newspaper editor said about Nicholas
Furlong and his many works: “ He is a gifted writer
whose libel-dodging happy turn of phrase camouflages the
most poisonous innuendo. I know him as an exceptional
speaker and superb guide on field trip or walking tour
and of course he is the most brilliant conversationalist
and good company.”
editor of The Echo Group of Newspapers said: “I have
been fortunate to observe at first hand his peculiar
humour and witty asides, which are, to paraphrase E.M
Forster, always perfect and freshly laid. He is on a par
with Con Houlihan…. With the eye of Thomas Hardy, he can
weave a story of the ordinary made extraordinary by the
brilliance of his dramatic denouement…His style will
revive memories of At Swim Two Birds by Flann
O’Brien. There is a resonance of Patrick Kavanagh in his
marrow… He is local history’s keeper and explorer.”
AND NEWSPAPER COLUMNIST
Nicholas Furlong became a weekly contributor on
satirical and human affairs to the Echo Newspapers
Group (Crosbie Holdings) in 1995. This has developed to
become the widely read two page weekly feature Furlong
at Large column in today’s Echo Group of newspapers.
(Telephone: 053 92 33231 Email
Agricultural and Agri-business south eastern
correspondent 1964 – 1986, and represented Ireland in
Vienna 1980 at the International Federation of
Agricultural Journalists Conference.
Government Ministers Hugh Byrne and Seamus Brennan, Jean
Kennedy Smith, United States Ambassador, Senator Avril
Doyle, Nicholas Furlong, Pike men and Pike boy on
Vinegar Hill's battle field, June 21st 1998 for the
lengthy career as an author and journalist spans four
decades during which he was a columnist with
The Irish Press 1966-68, Irish Farmers Journal, Biatas, Journal of Irish Sugar Company,(email:
email@example.com,) Celtic Connection,
Vancouver, B.C., Canada Editor Kathleen Butler,
Hibernian Monthly Review (1960-1980), Editor, John
Mulcahy, Treffpunkt Irland, Editor: Anna Brünning,
and various publications produced by Tara Publishing,
He was a contributor to the national newspapers
including The Irish
and The Irish Times, and to national magazines
including Ireland of the Welcomes and History Ireland.
He is a current contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and the Royal Irish Academy
Dictionary of Irish National Biography.
out to sea at Rosslare, Nicholas Furlong and
sister Christina Jordan, Vancouver, Canada
WRITER FOR TV AND STAGE
Nicholas Furlong was a scriptwriter for the satirical
Hall’s Pictorial Weekly programme on RTE national
television in the 1960s and 70s. He won the
Hibernia MediaAward for funniest feature
His acclaimed stage and street theatre works on the
Irish revolution directed by the great Tomás MacAnna
of Ireland’s national theatre The Abbey, created local
and overseas sensation in the sixties. His play
TheLunatic Fringe, condemned by a
Franciscan friar in 1966, troubled the conscience of an
Ireland emerging from the values and culture of the
1940s and 50s.
He has scripted four volumes of County Wexford in the
Rare Oul' Times, a unique, lavish and increasingly
valuable table top book containing the earliest and most
vulnerable photographs of his native County Wexford from
the 1800s to the middle 1900s.
His work has led to invited visits to America by the
Irish American Cultural Institute on prestigious lecture
tours which he delivered and which have extended from
Phoenix, Arizona to Fordham University in New York.
He has participated and advised on many television
documentaries on Irish, UK and German television, as
well as radio. His own newspaper digest program on
South East Radio was the most entertaining of its genre.
Tail Piece of Heinkel III which crash landed near Carnesore point.
The tail piece shows that two allied merchant vessels were sunk by the Heinkel on the one day March 1st 1941 (County Wexford in the Rare Oul Times No.3 1996)