Eugene McCabe

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Eugene McCabe
Born 1930 (age 84–85)
Glasgow, Scotland
Occupation Novelist, playwright, short story writer, farmer
Notable works Death and Nightingales, Cancer trilogy (Cancer, Heritage, Siege) Tales from the Poorhouse, King Of The Castle

Eugene McCabe (born 1930) is an Irish novelist, short story writer, playwright and television screenwriter.


Born to Irish emigrants in Glasgow, Scotland, he moved with his family to Ireland in the early 1940s.[1] He lives on a farm near Clones in County Monaghan, near the Irish border.[2]

His play King of the Castle caused a minor scandal when first shown in 1964 and was protested by the League of Decency.[3] McCabe wrote his award-winning trilogy of television plays, consisting of Cancer, Heritage and Siege because he felt he had to make a statement about the Troubles.[4] His 1992 novel Death and Nightingales has been called by Irish writer Colm Tóibín "one of the great Irish masterpieces of the century"[5] and a "classic of our times" by Kirkus Reviews.[6] He defended fellow novelist Dermot Healy by attacking a reviewer of his book, Eileen Battersby, in The Irish Times in 2011, using the Joycean cloacal invective "shite and onions", causing considerable controversy in the Irish literary community.[7][8]

List of works[edit]

  • A Matter of Conscience (1962)
  • King of the Castle (1964)
  • Pull Down a Horseman (1966)
  • Breakdown (1966)
  • Swift (1969)
  • Gale Day (1979)
  • Victims (1981)
Television plays
  • Cancer (1973)
  • Heritage (1973)
  • Siege (1973)
  • Roma (1979)
  • Death and Nightingales (1992)
  • The love of sisters (2009)
Short story collections
  • Victims: A Tale from Fermanagh (1976)
  • Heritage and Other Stories (1978)
  • Christ in the Fields, A Fermanagh Trilogy (1993)
  • Tales from the Poor House (1999)
  • Heaven Lies about Us (2005)
Children's books
  • Cyril: The Quest of an Orphaned Squirrel (1986)
  • Cyril's Woodland Quest (2001)
  • Shadows from the Pale: Portrait of an Irish Town (1996)


  1. ^ Clones Hall of Fame
  2. ^ Aosdána member information
  3. ^ Clones Hall of Fame
  4. ^ Clones Hall of Fame
  5. ^ Atlantic Monthly review of Death and Nightingales.
  6. ^ Lovereading page for Death and Nightingales
  7. ^ McCabe, Eugene (29 March 2011). "Another take on 'Long Time, No See'". The Irish Times (Irish Times Trust). Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  8. ^ Jarman, Mark Anthony (8 July 2011). "A brilliant return for Dermot Healy". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 

External links[edit]