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Brendan Francis Behan (/ ' b i n / BEE -n ; Irish : Breandán Ó Beacháin ; 9 February 1923 – 20 March 1964) was an Irish poet, short story writer, novelist, and playwright who wrote in both English and Irish. He was also an Irish republican and a volunteer in the Irish Republican Army. Born in Dublin into a republican family, he became a member of the IRA's youth organisation Fianna Éireann at the age of fourteen. However, there was also a strong emphasis on Irish history and culture in the home, which meant he was steeped in literature and patriotic ballads from a tender age. Behan eventually joined the IRA at sixteen, which led to him serving time in a borstal youth prison in the United Kingdom and was also imprisoned in Republic of Ireland. During this time, he took it upon himself to study and he became a fluent speaker of the Irish language. Subsequently released from prison as part of a general amnesty given by the Fianna Fáil government in 1946, Behan moved between homes in Dublin, Kerry and Connemara and also resided in Paris for a period.


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Quote Left He was born an Englishman and remained one for years. Quote Right
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Quote Left If it was raining soup, the Irish would go out with forks. Quote Right
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Quote Left When I came back to Dublin I was courtmartialed in my absence and sentenced to death in my absence, so I said they could shoot me in my absence. Quote Right
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Quote Left Other people have a nationality. The Irish and the Jews have a psychosis. Quote Right
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Quote Left There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary. Quote Right
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