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HE'S BEHAN HERE!; Legend Brendan was a People writer.

Byline: JIM GALLAGHER

LEGENDARY Irish writer Brendan Behan was an Irish Sunday People columnist, it was revealed this week.

The renowned playwright and drinker regularly wrote pieces for your favourite newspaper back in the fifties.

Most of the current staff were not even born then, so the fact that such a famous hack had once graced our pages had long been forgotten.

It was TV actor and comic Niall Toibin who made the revelation when he said he would love to read the articles he wrote.

Niall - the stuffy parish priest in Ballykissangel - is currently doing a one manshow, Behan Himself, at Dublin's HQ venue.He had tried before to track down Behan's articles but sadly our newspaper library did not stock them.

Now we are appealing to readers who may have saved the witty prose in a scrapbook or in their own archives to come forward.

Veteran star Niall told the Irish Sunday People last night: "I would love to read them.

"I tried once before when I was trying to put together another Behan show but I failed.

"People seem to think he just wrote Borstal Boy and The Hostage and got pissed. In fact he wrote a lot of newspaper articles.

"He wrote regularly for the Sunday People which a lot of people today don't know. But I remember because I used to buy the People just to read him.

"He wrote very funny articles, usually personal stuff and reminiscences. I remember one in which he went through all the families in Dublin who used to turn out musicians.

"I can't recall the dates but he was writing the year Mr What won the Grand National at 40-1.

"He told readers to put their money on Mr What and the following week he rubbed everyone's noses in it when he won.

"That was about 1958 or 59. He wrote regularly for the Sunday People back then and his pieces were very enjoyable

The Irish Sunday People's current Man of the People Stephen Maguire said: "I knew we were all geniuses on the paper but I had no idea we were in such exalted company."

Anyone with copies of Brendan's articles should ring 087 230 5226.

Behan Himself runs at HQ until February 3.

CAPTION(S):

OUR MAN: Maguire; MEMORIES: Niall Toibin GENIUS: Brendan Behan
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Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jan 13, 2002
Words:387
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