Considered to be a master storyteller and dramatist, Eugene McCabe was born in Glasgow in July 1930 to Irish parents. His family returned to Clones in Monaghan in the early forties and Eugene attended University College, Cork.
In the early seventies, he wrote what is probably regarded as his most famous set of works, a trilogy of television plays on the differing traditions in Northern Ireland. The trilogy, broadcast by RTÉ Television in 1973 was titled ‘Victims’ and consisted of ‘Cancer’, ‘Heritage’ and ‘Siege’. ‘Cancer’ won the Writers’ Award in Prague and second prize in the Prix Italia.
His 1992 novel ‘Death and Nightingales’ set in 1883, has become something of a contemporary classic. He has received many awards for his work including the Irish Life Theatre Award in 1964 for ‘King of the Castle’ which was first produced that year by the Dublin Theatre Festival; the Legum Doctorate from University of Prince Edward Island, Canada 1990 and the Butler Literary Award for Prose from Irish American Cultural Institute in 2002. From the American/Irish Ireland Funds, he received the 2006 AWB Vincent Literary Award.
His short fiction includes the novella and stories ‘Victims: A Tale from Fermanagh’ (London, Gollancz/Cork, Mercier, 1976); ‘Heritage and Other Stories’ (Gollancz, 1978); ‘Christ in the Fields’, A Fermanagh Trilogy (London, Minerva, 1993); ‘Tales from the Poor House’ (Oldcastle, The Gallery Press, 1999); and’ Heaven Lies about Us’ (London, Cape, 2005).
He lives on a farm in Clones.