Kennedy, Patrick (DNB00)

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KENNEDY, PATRICK (1801–1873), Irish miscellaneous writer, was born in the county of Wexford early in 1801. Having obtained a fair education through the philanthropy of the Carew family, he became in 1823 assistant in a training school in Kildare Place, Dublin, and a few years subsequently established a bookseller's shop and circulating library in Anglesea Place, where he carried on business till his death on 28 March 1873. He devoted much time to study, especially of popular Irish mythology and antiquities. His entertaining manual of Hibernian folklore, ‘Legendary Fictions of the Irish Celts,’ 1866, originated, like other of his published works, in contributions to the ‘Dublin University Magazine.’ ‘The greater part of the stories and legends in this volume,’ he says, ‘are given as they were received from the story-tellers with whom our youth is familiar.’ Passing under Kennedy's revision, the style has become somewhat too close to that of ordinary literary English, but they are nevertheless pithy and humorous. A new edition appeared in 1892. Kennedy also published ‘The Banks of the Boro, a Chronicle of the County of Wexford,’ 1867; ‘Evenings in the Duffrey,’ 1869; ‘The Bardic Stories of Ireland,’ 1871; and, under the pseudonym of Harry Whitney, ‘Legends of Mount Leinster,’ 1855. He was for many years a frequent contributor to the ‘Dublin University Magazine,’ and also wrote in the ‘Dublin Review.’ He seems to have been a most amiable and interesting man, with the one fault of excessive diffidence.

[Webb's Compendium of Irish Biog.; Read's Irish Cabinet; Memoir in Dublin Univ. Mag. vol. lxxxi., apparently by J. Sheridan Lefanu; information from Mr. F. L. Kennedy.]

R. G.