December 24, 1889


December 24, 1889

Patrick MacGill, novelist and poet, is born in Glenties, Co. Donegal


Patrick MacGill (24 December 1889 – 22 November 1963) was an Irish journalist, poet and novelist, known as “The Navvy Poet” because he had worked as a navvy before he began writing.

MacGill was born in Glenties, County Donegal.

A statue in his honor is on the bridge where the main street crosses the river in Glenties.

He had three children, Christine, Patricia and Sheila MacGill.

He died in Florida aged 73 and was buried in Fall River, Massachusetts.



  • Children of the Dead End: The Autobiography of a Navvy (London: Herbert Jenkins 1914; Edinburgh: Birlinn 2000)
  • The Rat-Pit (London: Herbert Jenkins 1915; London: Caliban 1982)
  • The Amateur Army (London: Herbert Jenkins 1915)
  • The Red Horizon (London: Herbert Jenkins 1916)
  • The Great Push: An Episode in the Great War (London: Herbert Jenkins 1916; Edinburgh: Birlinn 2000)
  • The Brown Brethren (London: Herbert Jenkins 1917)
  • The Dough-Boys (as John O’Gorman) (London: Herbert Jenkins 1919)
  • The Diggers: The Australians in France, foreword by W. M. Hughes, Australian PM (London: Herbert Jenkins 1919)
  • Glenmornan (London: Herbert Jenkins 1919; London: Caliban 1983)
  • Maureen (London: Herbert Jenkins 1920)
  • Fear! (London: Herbert Jenkins 1921)
  • Lanty Hanlon: A Comedy of Irish Life (London: Herbert Jenkins 1922)
  • Moleskin Joe (London: Herbert Jenkins 1923; London: Caliban 1983)
  • The Carpenter of Orra (London: Herbert Jenkins 1924)
  • Sid Puddiefoot (London: Herbert Jenkins 1926)
  • Una Cassidy (London: Herbert Jenkins 1928)
  • Tulliver’s Mill (London: Herbert Jenkins 1934)
  • The Glen of Carra (London: Herbert Jenkins 1934)
  • The House at the World’s End (London: Herbert Jenkins 1935)
  • Helen Spenser (London: Herbert Jenkins 1937)


  • Gleanings from a Navvy’s Scrapbook (Derry: Derry Journal 1910)
  • Songs of a Navvy (Windsor: P. MacGill 1911)
  • Songs of the Dead End (London: Year Book Press 1912)
  • Soldier Songs (London: Herbert Jenkins 1917)
  • Songs of Donegal (London: Herbert Jenkins 1921)
  • The Navvy Poet: Collected Poetry of Patrick MacGill (London: Caliban 1984) [Songs of Donegal; Songs of the Dead End; Soldier Songs]


  • Moleskin Joe (1921)
  • Suspense: A Play in Three Acts (London: Herbert Jenkins, 1930)

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