Farrell, Michael

They Tears Might Cease
Thy Tears Might Cease. Image source: Knopf 1st edition

Michael Farrell was born in Carlow in September 1899.

He studied Medicine at University College Dublin but was imprisoned in Mountjoy Jail for six months during the War of Independence. On release he embarked on a walking tour of Europe accompanied by young woman who had been a fellow medical student, and thereafter worked as a Marine Customs Superintendent under the Belgians in the Congo.

He resumed his medical studies on his return, this time at Trinity College, Dublin, but soon abandoned them to devote himself to literature.

He worked for several years for Radio Éireann and wrote under the pseudonym of Gulliver for Sean O’Faolain‘s journal The Bell.

In 1937 on O’Faolain’s recommendation his novel was accepted by a publisher in London. However, Farrell spent the next fifteen years in a failed attempt to edit the book and died before publication. The book was finally edited and submitted by his friend Monk Gibbon who reduced it by 100,000 words. Published as Thy Tears Might Cease (London, Hutchinson, 1963/New York, Alfred A Knopf, 1963), it became a best seller, and was translated into many languages.

He died on June 24th 1962.

Michael Farrell at The National Library of Ireland