Northern Ireland news

Jim Molyneaux, Brian Friel and Christina Reid added to Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Brian Friel in the auditorium at Belfast's Grand Opera House. Picture by Brian Morrison/PA Wire
Nadia Breen

TWO playwrights and a former unionist leader are among figures from Northern Ireland included in the latest edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Brian Friel, Jim Molyneaux and Christina Reid feature in a list of 226 people who left their mark on the UK and died in 2015.

Brian Friel was born in Omagh and his works, including the acclaimed play Dancing at Lughnasa, are studied in many schools.

Fellow playwright Christina Reid, from Belfast, produced work directly influenced by the Troubles such as Joyriders.

Jim Molyneaux, meanwhile, who described himself as the 'dull old dog of Ulster politics', was a UUP MP from 1970 to 1997 and leader of the party from 1979 to 1995.

Other new biographies of Northern Ireland interest include Co Tyrone composer Sandy Faris, who wrote the theme for the television series Upstairs, Downstairs, and former secretary of state Roy Mason.

The dictionary now includes biographies of more than 60,000 people.

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