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Anna Bella MacManus (1864-1902), better known by her pen name Ethna Carbery was an Irish writer, poet and co-founder of the Shan Van Vocht monthly journal alongside Alice Milligan. Born near Ballymena, County Antrim as Anna Johnston, her father Robert was a prominent member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood in Ulster, and from the age of fifteen Carbery wrote poetry and short stories for a number of nationalist publications. She would produce The Northern Patriot, the organ of the Henry Joy McCracken Literary Society, but was ironically fired due to her family’s links to the IRB. Alice Milligan, a friend of Carbery’s, resigned in protest and they would instead co-found the Shan Van Vocht, which ran from 1896 to 1899. Carbery would marry the Gaelic folklorist Seamus MacManus yet would die of illness at the age of 37 in 1902. Collections of her poetry and short stories were published posthumously by her widowed husband. Her most famous work is the ballad Roddy McCorley, a very famous Irish republican ballad particularly in her native Ulster.

Writings

Roddy McCorley

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