James Owen Hannay (George A. Birmingham)

Clergyman / Novelist

James O. Hannay
St. Ann's Cathedral, Belfast
Bermingham's Residence, Newport Road, Westport
Author's Personal Photo
Holy Trinity Church Westport
Author's Personal Photo
Line Drawaing of Trinity College Arms by W. MacNeill Dixon
Twynholm Baptist Church

Clergyman / Novelist

This novelist lived in Westport, Co. Mayo for a short time. He was also a  clergyman, playwright, Gaelic Leaguer, public speaker & a lecturer.


James’s paternal grandfather was of Scottish origin.  The Hannay family lived at Bushmills. George’s father Robert Hannay (1835–1894 ) was born there.  The family later moved to Belfast as his father was a rector in St. Anne’s Church.  His mother’s name was Emily she was a daughter of Rev. William Wynne.  Her father had ministered thirty-seven years in Moira, Northern Ireland. [i]

James Owen Hannay (George A. Birmingham) was born on 16th July 1865 in Belfast.  He was a son of Robert Hannay Church of Ireland rector of St Anne’s, Belfast & his wife Emily (née Wynne/) [ii]

James Owen Hannay was born on 16th July 1865.  He was the eldest son.  He was brother to Agnes, Robert also William.[iii]

Family life

During 1889 J. O. Hannay married Adale Wynne (daughter of Frederick Richards Wynne (1827-1896 a Church of Ireland clergyman who later became a bishop).  They had two sons, Robert also Seamus & two daughters Theodosia & Althea. [iv]


When James was an infant his father hired a private tutor for him: a Dr. Drew who was the leader of the Orange Order of Northern Ireland.  James Hannay received his further education in Temple Grove School in England.  He later attended the public Haileybury School.  He returned to Ireland to study at the Divinity School of Trinity College, Dublin. [v]

He was educated at Haileybury School in Hertfordshire, England.  Hannay also studied at Trinity College, Dublin:  He graduated from there during 1886. [vi]


[i] www.eprintsmaynoothuniversity.ie

[ii] https://www.dib.ie/biography/hannay-james-owen-george-a-birmingham-a3791

[iii] www.eprintsmaynoothuniversity.ie

[iv] http://geo-birmin.com/en/profil01.html

[v] Ibid

[vi] https://www.dib.ie/biography/hannay-james-owen-george-a-birmingham-a3791


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