Attended Hackney Downs School September 1893 – December 1893 (he was born at Rathmines, Dublin on 17th September1882). At about the age of 10 he was sent to be educated at the Grocers’ Company’s School which had the “reputation of being one of the best second level educational institutions in London at the time”. The first Headmaster had been interested in the Froebel Institute which was quite progressive. The Headmaster (Revd. Gull, in Figgis’ day maintained strict discipline but had modern ideas on teaching
Darrell became a literary figure and political activist in Ireland but was also associated with the Irish Volunteers through which he became involved in gun running (he signed documents in connection with the Howth gun running incident), and was at one stage interned in Durham Jail. The guns he smuggled in 1913 were later used in the 1916 Easter Rising, though he did not, himself, take a direct part
As a child he had frequently been to Calcutta where his father had established a tea brokerage and it was said that the boy had an unerring and refined palate for the beverage. However, he later fell out with his father and, encouraged by his uncle, E J Figgis, he left the tea trade being encouraged by his relative to develop his writing talent. From 1911-1913 he had been employed by the publishers’ Dent & Co, and was married to Emily “Millie” Tate. He had also started building a house on Achill, an isolated spot in Ireland where the first Irish Summer School for writers had been founded a few years earlier. He was published as early as 1909 and one of his earliest books had an introduction by G.K.Chesterton.
When he died, the Times Obituary praised his literary accomplishments and sidelined his political achievements. The obituary was published on 28th October, 1925.
Annagh by Darrell Figgis
There is no peace now however thing to,
No peace where the ways of men ring loud,
save in a secret place that I know,
Hidden as in a cloud.
All the high hills stand clustering round,
Arched to protect it from trouble and noise,
the great sting hills that sing without sound,
And speak with no voice.
There lies Caorog, the mute low lake
And Bun-na-freamha lying aloft,
Peacefully sleeping, or even if they wake,
Lapping low and soft.
Upon the high hill-tops the heather may be crying.
And over the hill-tops the voices of men are heard,
But here only water lapping and sighing,
Or the wail of a bird.
Peace, peace and peace from the inner heart of dream,
More full of wisdom than speech can tell,
Drop like a veil round the show of things that seem
With an invisible spell.