The Brother

By Myles na Gopaleen (Flann O'Brien)

"Do you know what it is, the brother's an extraordinary genius."

Born on the 5th October 1911 in Strabane, Northern Ireland, Brian O'Nolan is perhaps best known as Flann O'Brien, the name under which he published his novels At Swim Two Birds, The Hard Life, The Dalkey Archive and The Third Policeman.

Often described as one of the 'holy trinity' of modern Irish writers alongside Joyce and Beckett, he was notorious for writing under a range of pseudonyms and penned the daily 'Cruiskeen Lawn' column in the Irish Times as Myles na Gopaleen (na gCopaleen) from1940 until his death in 1966.

Satirising the absurdities and ironies of Dublin life the Cruiskeen Lawn introduced a memorable and hilarious cast of characters; Keats and Chapman, The Plain People of Ireland and the extraordinary, eccentric and preposterous 'brother'.

To mark the centenary of his birth, a series of readings selected from O'Brien's 'Brother' articles, introduces us to one of his most peculiar and eccentric literary creations.

An 'extraordinary genius' indeed, the brother is apparently an authority on almost every subject imaginable and has his finger in more pies than he has fingers! Living in digs with his long-suffering landlady and her lodgers, the brother believes that he really does know best about everything from medicine, to water purity, politics and policing, and, as we discover, there is no arguing with the brother!

Meet the inimitable 'brother' as Myles regales us with that most unusual of individual's latest exploits.

Read by Jim Norton with Kevin Moore.

Producer Heather Larmour.



Selections from Flann O' Brien's writings charting the exploits of the 'brother'.


The Brother learns French and suffers from a leaky valve.

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The Brother turns his attention once again to his long-suffering landlady.