Flann O’Brien was born Brian O’Nolan in County Tyrone, on 5 October 1911, and grew up in Dublin.
He was a civil servant for eighteen years, but in the 1930s began writing a bi-lingual column for The Irish Times under the pseudonym Myles na Gopaleen (Myles of the Small Horses). He also wrote a column for The Nationalist and Leinster Times under the pseudonym George Knowall.
His fiction includes At Swim-Two-Birds (London, Longman-Green, 1939/republished, London, MacGibbon & Kee, 1960); An Béal Bocht, Dublin, The Dolmen Press, 1941); The Dalkey Archive (MacGibbon & Kee, 1964); The Third Policeman (MacGibbon & Kee, 1967); The Hard Life (a translation of An Béal Bocht by Patrick C.Power, London, Hart-Davis, MacGibbon, 1973).
In addition many of his satirical and surrealist non-fiction columnns for The Irish Times have been published as The Best of Myles Under the name Myles-na-Gopaleen, his only staged play is Faustus Kelly (Dublin, The Abbey Theatre, 1945).
Works on his life and work include Anthony Cronin’s No Laughing Matter: The Life and Times of Flann O’Brien (London, Grafton, 1990).
He died in Dublin on April 1, 1966.
Flann O’Brien The Brian O’Nolan Estate