T. C. Murray

Playwright, Author

1873 – 1959


Who was T. C. Murray?

Thomas Cornelius Murray was an Irish dramatist who was closely associated with the Abbey Theatre. He was born in Macroom, County Cork, and educated at St Patrick's Teacher Training College in Drumcondra, Dublin. He worked as a schoolteacher and in 1900 was appointed headmaster of the national school in Rathduff, Co. Cork. His first play, The Wheel of Fortune, was produced by the Little Theatre in Cork in 1909. It was revised and renamed Sovereign Love in 1913. Murray had co-founded the theatre with Daniel Corkery, Con O'Leary and Terence McSwiney. In 1915, he moved to Dublin as headmaster of the Model Schools at Inchicore, where he remained until his retirement from teaching in 1932.

His play Birthright was performed in the Abbey Theatre in 1910 and established him as a writer of force. In all, he wrote 15 plays, all of which were produced by the Abbey. His two most highly regarded works are Maurice Harte and Autumn Fire. Both of these and Birthright were performed in New York on Broadway, with Autumn Fire having a run of 71 performances. Murray also wrote an autobiographical novel Spring Horizon.

It has been stated both by A. DeGiacomo and by R. Allen Cave that, in the Art competitions at the 1924 Olympics in Paris, France, Murray was awarded a bronze medal for his play Birthright. However, according to the official record for the games, although Murray was a participant in the literature category with this play and also with Maurice Harte he did not win a medal.

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Jan 17, 1873
Lived in
  • County Cork
Mar 7, 1959

on July 23, 2013


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