JOHN COLL’S TRIBUTE TO BRENDAN BEHAN IS LOCATED AT BINNS BRIDGE IN DRUMCONDRA
Brendan Behan was an Irish Republican, poet, short story writer, novelist, and playwright who wrote in both English and Irish. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest Irish writers and poets of all time. Behan died on 20 March 1964 at 41 years of age, when he collapsed at the Harbour Lights bar in Dublin.
In September 2003 a sculpture of Brendan Behan was unveiled at Binns Bridge on the banks of Dublin’s Royal Canal.
The sculpture incorporates four triangles because “The Auld Triangle” is a song by Dick Shannon, often attributed to Brendan Behan, who made it famous when he included it in his 1954 play The Quare Fellow. He first performed it publicly in 1952 on the RTE radio programme ‘The Ballad Maker’s Saturday Night’, produced by Mícheál Ó hAodha.
Behan’s biographer, Michael O’Sullivan, recorded, ‘It has been believed for many years that Brendan wrote that famous prison song but Mícheál Ó hAodha says he never laid claim to authorship. Indeed he asked him to send a copyright to another Dubliner, Dick Shannon.’ When he recorded the song for Brendan Behan Sings Irish Folksongs and Ballads (Spoken Arts 1960), Behan introduced it with these words: ‘This song was written by a person who will never hear it recorded, because he’s not in possession of a gramophone. He’s…he’s… pretty much of a tramp.’
As a matter of interest Binns Bridge is named after John Binns who was one of the principal supporters of the Royal Canal and had previously been a director of the Grand Canal Company.
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