|In the 1950s in Cootehill, Co. Cavan, the local children knew that the landlord in the Big House was a bit unusual: he wore khaki shorts and was nicknamed, “The Brigadier”.
What they may not have known was that he had been an actual brigadier-general in the British Army in World War II. He had devised a plan to defeat Rommel in North Africa but had fallen foul of Montgomery and had been fired by Churchill.
“The Brigadier” was so embittered at his treatment by the British Army that he returned to Ireland where he assisted the IRA during the Border Campaign of the 1950s.
He had already changed his name from Eric Dorman-Smith to the more Irish-sounding Eric Dorman-O’Gowan.
“The Brigadier” was married twice, stood for election in Cavan and had, as one of his best friends, the writer, Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway based several characters in his books on “The Brigadier”.
So, the Cootehill children were right, “The Brigadier” was very unusual.
50 years after “The Brigadier’s” death, producer Pavel Barter (whose grandfather taught Eric in military college), tells his story in a Documentary On One production entitled, appropriately, “The Brigadier”.
|RTÉ Radio 1 Saturday 1pm|