Patrick Grehan Smyth

Historical Novelist / Journalist

Ballina Moy River.
Chicago. U.S.
P.G.Smyth Grave
Dympna Joyce collection
Doris Bridge Westport.
Author's Personal Photo

Historical Novelist / Journalist

Patrick Grehan Smyth was Mayo’s first G. A. A. President.   His most famous publication was Wild Rose of Lough Gill.   He was the first editor of The Western People  newspaper in Ballina.

Patrick Smyth was born in Ballina, Co. Mayo during 1867.  His parents were Bartholomew (circa 1829-1910) & Sarah Marie Grehan Smyth. (?-Died 1891)  His grandparents were Mary Kenny also Patrick Smyth. [i]

G. A. A. Chairman

He was chairman of Mayo G. A. A. in 1888. [ii]

G. A. A. President

At the First Annual GAA Convention of  September 1889 the outgoing president (or chairman) was named as P. G. Smyth.  (Terry Reilly & Ivan Neill  page 11 ) [iii]


During 1890 P. G. Smyth refereed the Mayo Championship match at Castlebar that was between Sligo & Mayo. [iv]


P. G. Smyth offered his resignation due to his impending emigration. [v]


He emigrated to Chicago with his brothers Thomas also James Pemberton Smyth. [vi]


He worked alongside his brothers at his uncle’s premises John M. Smyth’s furniture store. [vii]


Patrick G. Smyth married Katherine Doris (daughter of William Doris, M.P. for West Mayo also co–owner of Mayo News with his brother Patrick in Westport, Co. Mayo ) on August 15th 1891. They returned to the U.S. by ‘The City of Paris’  from Queenstown to Chicago. (20th August 1891)   Patrick Grehan Smyth was married a the second time to Theresa Winifred (Tessie ) Ryan (1865-1982) on 25th  February 1900. They had a son Robert Michael also daughters Eileen (later Sr. Mary Alma ) then Marguerite A. (a paid genealogy site ) [viii]


They had two sons Bartholomew also Robert. Unfortunately Katherine died aged twenty – nine years with her infant son Robert who survived for one month in 1893.  Patrick Grehan Smyth was married a second time to Theresa Winifred (Tessie ) Ryan 1865-1982 on 25th February 1900.  They had a son Robert Michael also daughters Eileen (later Sr. Mary Alma) then Marguerite A, (a paid genealogy site ) [ix]


The title page of The Wild Rose of Lough Gill  (Dublin ) 1883 referred that P. G. Smyth wrote The Duchess of Inver  a tale of the Irish war in the seventeenth century dedicated to Timothy D. Sullivan MP for Westmeath.  He produced verse for numerous Dublin periodicals:  included were The Irishman, The Shamrock, Young Irelander also The Weekly News.   P. G. Smyth contributed an article in The Western People  on Moyne Abbey during 1887.  He penned the preface to King and Viking  a tale of the Danish invasion of Ireland during Dublin 1889.  While in Chicago his publications were amongst others the following in The Gael, Passing of the Clan Uillioam 1 in 1909:Told out of Court  tales of Bench & Bar.   During 1909 Hire Sheet Music as  a supplement to The Ladies’ Review.  During 1911 he published Rhyme with Reason, a garland of Irish Shamrock’s, many of them grown in Ireland.  [x]

James M. Smyth, New Buffolo on 26th January 2009 stated that his grandfather Patrick Grehan Smyth had written several articles for The Catholic Encyclopedia  following his emigration to Chicago in the U. S.  [xi]


Patrick Grehan Smyth’s demise occurred  on 24th July  1934.  Obituary in The Chicago Daily Tribune stated that he was the fond father of Bert J., Robert M., Mrs. Henry Schultz, & Sr. Marie Alma, Providence Order; brother of Thomas, James, also Mrs. James Conway.  Funeral from his residence at 5325 Jackson-Blvd was to the Resurrection Church with internment at Lockport Cemetery. [xii]

Further Information

Nugent Brian penned during 1912 that P. G. Smyth reported that ‘Shakespeare was an Irish man and he knew it’  in his Shakespeare was Irish.  2008 (page 356 ) [xiii]

The name has long been a puzzle to Englishmen who saw nothing more in it than the cave man sobriquet ‘shake a spear’  but for an American writer Mr. Smith author of the The Wild Rose  it was different.  [xiv]

According to article seabhach is bior (a hawk & a spear) as it happens is the armorial bearing of the  Shakespeare  family. (6th October 1928 page 8 ) [xv]

Following Michael Scanlon’s demise in Chicago (author of Jacket’s Green also The Bould Fenian Men) in 1917 Rev. P. L. Murray in an article titled Poet Laureate of Fenianism  in the Gaelic Quarterly Review  no. 1 June 1936 referenced P. G. Smyth in an appreciation of Scanlon with ‘A short but welcome biographical sketch, written for the Irish World by one of Scanlon’s old friends – P. G. Smyth, the author of the Wild Rose of Lough Gill, – merely whetted up an  appetite for more information.[xvi]

When the football club was founded in Ballina James Wallace Melvin informed The Western People  editor Patrick G. Smyth that ‘I’m going out, Pat, to start a club that will shake all Ireland.’  [xvii]

P. G. Smyth is referenced amongst numerous authors in Luca Crispi’s PDF Genetic Joyce Studies  Spring 2009 issue 9 in in a commentary on James Joyce’s National Library of Ireland’s Early Commonplace Book 1903-1917. (page 9 ) [xviii]

This link features an original copy of 1883 The Wild Rose of Lough Gill  (Gill Dublin):

An extract from Travels through Time published in The Mayo News on 24th February 1993 (assessed 12th Sept 2019 ) stated that ‘As can be seen P. G. Smyth is mentioned among  illustrious novelists at Mayo’s Carnegie Library at the Courthouse in Castlebar, who invited applications for the establishment of branch libraries in various districts during 1928.’  The library announced that recent acquisitions included P. G. Smyth author of Wild Rose of Lough Gill.


[i] – PG Smyth

[ii] The Green and the Red

[iii] Ibid

[iv] – PG Smyth

[v] The Green and the Red

[vi] The Western People 

[vii] Ibid





[xii] The Chicago Tribune



[xv] Meath Chronicle





Comments about this page

  • Just a few small corrections:
    Marriage date for Patrick Smyth and Kate Doris was 15 August 1892. (ref: Western People, Ballina August 20 1892 p8)
    Katherine Doris was the sister of William Doris (not is daughter). Both were the children of Robert Doris (ref: her marriage record on

    By Paula O'Connell (05/09/2021)

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