Flann O’Brien’s English Teacher: John Charles McQuaid

From Blackrock College 1860-1995 by Sean Farragher and Annraoi Wyer


Dr McQuaid himself was recognised as an outstanding English teacher, and when one of his students, Brian O’Nolan, alias Myles na gCopaleen [and Flann O’Brien – SS], boasted in his absence to the rest of the class that there were only two people in the College who could write English properly namely, Dr McQuaid and himself, they had no hesitation in agreeing. And Dr McQuaid did Myles the honour of publishing a little verse by him in the first issue of the revived College Annual (1930) – this being Myles’ first published item.

A reproduction of the poem itself is featured. It reads:


Ah! When the skies at night

Are damascened with gold,

Methinks the endless sight

Eternity unrolled.



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