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Desmond Fennell

Born in Belfast in 1929, Desmond Fennell attended school in Dublin, where he learned Latin and Greek and in the Leaving Certificate Examination won first place in French and German. With a Scholarship in Classical Languages he entered University College, Dublin, and there and in Trinity College studied history, economics and languages. He researched his MA thesis in Modern History at Bonn University. In 1991 the National University of Ireland awarded him its highest degree in the humanities, D. Litt., for his published work. He has lived and worked in Spain, Germany, Sweden, the USA and Italy - adding three more languages to his repertoire - and has travelled in Asia. Living in Conamara 1968-79, he was active in the ‘Gaeltacht revolution’ which changed the nature of the Irish language movement. His journalism 1969-75, rethinking the nationalist approach to the Northern problem, laid the intellectual basis for the peace process of the 1990s. From 1976 to 1982 he taught History and Politics at University College, Galway, and from 1982 to 1993, English Writing at the Dublin Institute of Technology. His books and journalism have dealt with Irish and international culture and politics, and with history, travel, religion and literature. From 1997 to 2007 Fennell lived in Anguillara on Lake Bracciano, near Rome. In the latter year he returned to Ireland.
 


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