Currently alive, at 89 years of age.
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1929 – He was born on the 9th day of January this year in Omagh, County Tyrone, he received his college education at St. Columb’s College in Derry and the seminary at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, as well as in Belfast..
1950 – He taught at various schools in and around County Londonderry from this year to 1960.
1958 – His first radio plays were produced by the BBC, Belfast, in this year.
1959 – He began his career by writing short stories for The New Yorker in this year and subsequently published two collections: The Saucer of Larks and The Gold in the Sea. His first play This Doubtful Paradise, premiered in this year, and a few years later The Enemy Within in 1962 gained him recognition in Ireland.
1964 – He became well-known with Philadelphia Here I Come! In this year, The Loves of Cass McGuire in 1966, and Lovers 1967 were all highly successful in Ireland, as well as overseas. The Freedom of the City in 1973 is an explicitly political work about the troubles in Northern Ireland.
1967 – He lives in Donegal, where he moved to from Derry in this year, and lives a life in the quiet, rural seclusion which often talks of in his plays.
1974 – He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Rosary College, River Forest, Illinois in this year.
1980 – He accomplished one of his greatest pieces “Translations”.
1989 – BBC Radio devoted a six-play season to his work, the first living playwright to be so distinguished.
1990 – This year’s Dancing at Lughnasa is probably his most successful play, premiered at the Abbey Theatre, and then transferred to London’s West End and went on to Broadway, where it won three Tony Awards in 1992, including Best Play.
1999 – Friel received a lifetime achievement award from the Irish Times in this year.
2004 – Friel’s most recent work is The Home Place this year, which after a sold-out season at the Gate Theater in Dublin, transferred to London’s West End on the 25th day of May 2005.
2006 – He was presented with a gold Torch by President Mary McAleese in recognition of the fact that that the members of Aosdána have elected him a Saoi.