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Archibald McIlroy (1859-1915)

Archibald McIlroy, the foremost local exponent of the Kailyard school of writing, was born in Ballyclare, County Antrim, in 1859. He worked for the Ulster Bank but left to become an insurance agent. He travelled extensively for the sake of his health, visiting the Holy Land, Greece, Italy and Egypt. For the last three years of his life he lived in Canada. McIlroy died as a result of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania by a German submarine. His most famous novel was When Lint was in the Bell (1897), a light-hearted, lightly fictionalized account of life in nineteenth-century Ballyclare.

Further reading: Rolf Loeber & Magda Loeber, A Guide to Irish Fiction 1650-1900 (Dublin, 2006).

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