Heno Magee (1939-2016)

‘[Hatchet is] a work of stark and brutal realism . . . it has moment of rare, sensitive writing and others where Heno Magee lets the tragedy roar through terrible hate.’

                                               — Sunday Press

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Heno MageeHeno Magee was born in Dublin in 1939. He left school at fourteen to become a messenger boy. Later he joined the R.A.F. and traveled widely for five years before returning to Dublin to work in a factory. In 1972 he retired to devote himself entirely to writing.

In 1976 he received an Abbey Theatre bursary and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. His five plays include I’m Getting Out of This KipHatchet (published by The Gallery Press in 1978) and Red Biddy which have been produced on stage and television. He also worked as a theatre critic for The Catholic Standard.

Heno Magee died in December 2016.


This work of stark and brutal realism is set in inner city Dublin in the early 1970s. Its central character is Hatchet Bailey, a tough violent creature whose wife strives to escape the poverty of her environment. Heno Magee’s powers of authenticity and authority highlight the contemporary relevance of this perennially powerful and popular play.

€10.00 pb

Recent Gallery Press Titles

Aidan Carl MatthewsAidan Carl Mathews was born in 1956 and educated at UCD, TCD, and Stanford University. He has published three collections of poetry, WindfallsMinding Ruth (Gallery, 1983) and According to the Small Hours (1998). He has published short stories: Adventures in a Bathyscope (which was shortlisted for the GPA Award), Lipstick on the Host and Charlie Chaplin's Wishbone (2016, Lilliput) and a novel, Muesli at Midnight. Other awards include an Irish Times Award, Patrick Kavanagh Award, Macauley Fellowship and an Academy of American Poets Award.

His plays include Exit/Entrance (Gallery 1990), The Diamond BodyThe Antigone, a new version of The House of Bernarda Alba and Communion (2003). He edited Immediate ManCuimhní ar Chearbhall Ó Dálaigh. He works as a radio drama producer in RTE.

Aidan Carl Mathews Titles

Minding Ruth

Aidan Mathews’ first volume Windfalls, distinguished in itself, gave promise for the future. Minding Ruth fulfils, if it does not indeed go beyond the expectations roused by that first volume. — Seamus Deane

€10.00 pb
€15.50 hb