Belfast Telegraph

Belfast writer St John Ervine is honoured with plaque

By Colin O'Carroll

A historical blue plaque has been being unveiled in memory of the east Belfast writer and playwright St John Ervine.

Ervine was born in poverty close to the Albertbridge Road.

The writer was a lifelong friend of George Bernard Shaw, a drama critic and wrote plays that were performed on Broadway and London's West End.

In his early years he was a Home Ruler but later became a fervent unionist. The Ulster History Circle is unveiling the plaque at Westbourne Presbyterian Church School where the young John Greer Ervine flourished under headmaster Matthew McClelland.

The school is earmarked for demolition and the plaque will be moved to Westbourne Presbyterian Church.

He wrote seven novels and biographies, including studies of Craigavon, Parnell, Carson, William Booth, Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. From 1933 to 1936 Ervine was Professor of Dramatic Literature for the Royal Society of Literature. In 1945 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Queen's U niversity, Belfast.

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