JJ James (Jeremiah) Joseph Callanan, 1786 died Lisbon 1829, Cork Poet bridging Gaelic Ireland with Irish Literature in English, Aonghus Ó Dalaigh, poems.

The Trinity Alumni records record him as Pensioner admitted 6th July 1801, aged 15, Roman Catholic, son of John Physician educated Mr. Lee Vernon 1805 see Allibone.

Presumably a brother slightly different spelling ‘Callinan’ Thomas educated Mr. Barrington admitted 5th July 1802.

Walker’s magazine records a marriage in November 1779 between John Callanan MD and Miss Cooper, Barry’s Court, daughter of William. It is possible that Cooper is a version of Coppinger and might account for his schooling in Cobh.


From Dr. Casey collection.

It is forgotten but a section of the Catholic population survived and some thrived during the Penal Laws. The Callanans appear as apothecaries in Cork, Doctors, and are close to McCarthys, Nagles and O’Learys (of the ‘outlaw’ family Raleigh Macroom) and form a close network. It is from this background that JJ Callinan came. Later his friend Crofton Croker would comment that he spent years living with various friends who were Doctors, Schoolteachers and surprisingly Policemen. One such Doctor was Doctor Burke who practised in the Square in Bantry and was from A Caheragh Landowning family probably associated with the McCarthys according to the late Cork Historian John T Collins. It was in Bantry he wrote Gougán Barra.


In the online edition of the Kings Inns Admission papers (Irish Manuscript Commission) p 92 online p 72 text the admission records of James Joseph Callanan gives his date of birth as the 17th January 1786, 3rd son of father John Medical Doctor mother Catherine Coppinger. TCD 1805, MT M 1806 E (Admitted King’s Inns) 1809. The mother’s name is interesting, as the Coppingers are of Danish descent and his friend Crofton Croker describes him as ‘fair’.

A possible cousin also appears on the list for 1800 James Callanan born 1783 2nd son of Michael Apothecary and Elizabeth McCarthy.

The Callinan’s were the hereditary physicians of the McCarthys:



To continue the McCarthy connection JJ Callanan at one time tutored from a well to do McCarthy family in Millstreet.

Crofton Croker’s description of a man of genius somewhat dissolute exiling himself for years from polite company to spend in West Cork is somewhat reminiscent of the medieval poets such as Aonghus Ó Dalaigh from Kilcrohane.