Joseph Campbell (1879 - 1944):
Joseph Campbell was born at 32 Castlereagh Road, Belfast (since demolished) on 15 July 1879, the son of William Henry Campbell a building contractor. Under his mother's influence Campbell took an early interest in Irish music and folklore. He was educated at St Malachy's College, Belfast and worked in his father's building business before becoming a teacher of English.
As a young man he collaborated with the composer Herbert Hughes on English-language versions of Irish folk songs; the first volume of these was published as Songs of Uladh (Belfast: Mullan, 1904) under the Irish form of his name Seosamh mac Cathmhaoil. The best known of these, "My Lagan Love" Campbell actually composed himself. In 1902 he helped found the Ulster Literary Theatre and his own play The Little Cowherd of Slainge was performed in 1905.
For a time before the First World War Campbell lived in London, where he was Secretary of the Irish Literary Society. In May 1910 he married Nancy Maude and moved to Dublin in 1911 and later took part in the Easter rising as an Intelligence Officer. In the civil war he sided with the Republicans, and was interned for seventeen months by the Free State forces. He separated from his wife in 1924 and the following year moved to the United States where In 1925 he set up the first ever School of Irish Studies in the U.S.A., at Fordham University, New York, returning in 1939 to Ireland, where he lived in seclusion at a farmstead in Glencree, Co Wicklow, until his death in June 1944.
His prison diaries have been published (Cork, 2001) and his poetry is best known in the settings by Hughes.
Irish Times, 13 January 2021
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