Going the extra Myles

The Palace Bar in Dublin circa 1945. The figure on the right is Robert Farren. Photograph: Hulton Getty

The Palace Bar in Dublin circa 1945. The figure on the right is Robert Farren. Photograph: Hulton Getty

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Sir, – In a book review by Anthony Roche on a collection of essays concerning Flann O’Brien (Books, December 2nd), the caption on a photograph identifies the figure on the right as Flann O’Brien. This is in fact Robert Farren (1909-1984), poet, broadcaster and Abbey Theatre director. He was my father.

Hulton Getty has issued various versions of this photograph over the years with this misidentification; it appears in at least two British collections of Flann O’Brien’s works.

Apart from the fact that I recognise him, it is known – and your resident Flannorak, Frank McNally, will I’m sure confirm this – that Flann never wore glasses.

The figure lighting a cigarette in the photograph is the novelist Francis MacManus (1909-1965), an exact contemporary and close friend of my father. – Yours etc,

RONAN FARREN,

Killiney,

Co Dublin.

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