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Armagh writer O'Connor set to be honoured with blue plaque

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Jim Lockhart and Barry Devlin of Horslips, poet Paul Muldoon and writer Martina Devlin at the launch of the John O'Connor Writing School. A blue plaque commemorating the writer and broadcaster is to be unveiled outside his former home in Armagh

Jim Lockhart and Barry Devlin of Horslips, poet Paul Muldoon and writer Martina Devlin at the launch of the John O'Connor Writing School. A blue plaque commemorating the writer and broadcaster is to be unveiled outside his former home in Armagh

Jim Lockhart and Barry Devlin of Horslips, poet Paul Muldoon and writer Martina Devlin at the launch of the John O'Connor Writing School. A blue plaque commemorating the writer and broadcaster is to be unveiled outside his former home in Armagh

The Ulster History Circle is to commemorate Armagh writer John O'Connor.

A Blue Plaque honouring the writer and novelist will be unveiled at his former home in the city's Columba Terrace.

John O'Connor was born in Mill Row, Armagh in 1920 and was 12 years old when the family moved to Banbrook Hill.

A contributor to local newspapers from an early age, he went on to write many short stories, made several documentary programmes for the BBC and, in 1948, published a novel - 'Come Day, Go Day'.

Based on his experiences of his local community, the novel has been described as "a marvellous little book that could be classed among the minor masterpieces".

The novel was re-published in 1984, with Sam Hanna Bell asserting that the claim of his admirers "to be considered one of the most talented and delightful of our writers is as substantial as the cathedrals above his native city".

In 1952, O'Connor left Armagh for Australia. He died in New Guinea in December 1959; his death was certified as due to "shock and toxaemia untreated" and a perforated, chronic duodenal ulcer. He was buried in Townsville, Queensland on Christmas Eve 1959.

Chris Spurr, chairman of the Ulster History Circle said: "We are delighted to honour this talented and popular writer and we would like to thank Armagh and District History Group and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for their financial support towards the plaque."

The Ulster History Circle is a voluntary, non-profit charity which puts up blue plaques in public places across all nine counties of Ulster, to celebrate people of achievement.

Belfast Telegraph