Charles Duff – Unveiling report

Charles Duff Blue Plaque

Date – 25th January 2018.

Location – Ely Place, 66-68 Forthill Street. Enniskillen. Co. Fermanagh.

Plaque sponsored by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and Fermanagh Trust.

Unveiled by Sir Anthony Hart, great nephew.

Ely Place, the birthplace in 1894 of a ‛forgotten son’ of Enniskillen, saw the gathering of guests which included the extended families, for the unveiling of the blue plaque.  The name of writer and linguist Charles Duff, had been brought to the attention of the Ulster History Circle by Fermanagh Genealogy who had acquired sponsorship for the plaque from the Fermanagh & Omagh District Council, and Fermanagh Trust.

Chris Spurr, Chairman of the Ulster History Circle, gave a very warm welcome to everyone on such a cold and wet morning, and said that Charles Duff was a man born in Enniskillen and his childhood there, recalled in his autobiographical book ‘No Angel’s Wing’ showed his affection for Fermanagh, and the value he placed on his roots was very evident. As an author, Charles had a different and distinctive profile to two other Irish writers already commemorated by blue plaques in Enniskillen, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett.  By commemorating Charles Duff, it was hoped that there would be renewed interest in his life and work.

Short speeches were given by the Chairman of the Council, Councillor Stephen McCann who said that the Council were delighted to be associated with the event, and by Frank McHugh, Secretary of Fermanagh Genealogy. Both men hoped that by the unveiling of the Blue Plaque, that this would indeed highlight an important literary figure of the 20th Century, long since forgotten. A man of many literary talents, educated at Portora and whose ashes are scattered on Lough Erne.

After the unveiling of the plaque by Charles Duff’s great nephew, Sir Anthony Hart, guests adjournedto Fermanagh House at Broadmeadow Place, where after refreshments, they listened to Sir Anthony Hartspeak at length about his great uncle.  A biographical article about Charles Duff, written by Sir Anthony Hart can be found in the new Ulster Dictionary of Biography

Photos from the Unveiling ceremony – click on thumbprints to enlarge photos

Charles Duff, author and linguist.

Guests gather outside Charles Duff’s birthplace at Ely Place.

Sir Anthony Hart, great nephew of Charles Duff, unveils the Blue Plaque.


Anthony Lundy, Ulster History Circle; Alan Boyd, Hon. Secretary Ulster History Circle; Sir Anthony Hart; Frank McHugh, Secretary, Fermanagh Genealogy; Chris Spurr, Chairman, Ulster History Circle; and Councillor Stephen McCann, Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.
Sir Anthony Hart with members of the West family and other family descendants of Charles Duff.